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3.8 M households in Metro experiencing brownouts

Massive power interruptions have tormented more than 3.8 million households in the franchise area of Manila Electric Company (Meralco), leaving many Filipinos groping in the dark while wading through the impact of typhoon Ulysses.


“As of 5:00am (on Thursday), the count of Meralco customers experiencing interruptions due to the effects of Ulysses is 3,803, 810 or 56-percent of our customer base,” Meralco noted.

The utility firm said it has already dispatched crews in affected areas so electricity service can be brought back gradually, primarily in areas that are already safe to do restoration works.

Meralco, nevertheless, cautioned consumers that it will reinstate power supply to homes and businesses, but with “safety” of its workers as well as the consumers being its prime consideration.

“We are exerting all efforts to restore power soonest despite the constraints we are currently facing,” Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said.

He specified that “Meralco will continue to conduct restoration efforts round-the-clock in order to address each and every customer who still have no power supply.”

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi announced that “there are plants that were on shutdown for safety reasons,” and intervention had already been instituted at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) as the typhoon rendered abnormal state in the country’s power supply-demand conditions.

“Market intervention has been in effect since last night (Wednesday evening) as dispatch schedules are unimplementable,” the energy chief stressed.

He similarly explained that “the outage of power plants are preventive measures to avoid total system collapse as frequency is very high.” The energy department is still collating information on the power generating facilities that had resorted to ‘emergency shutdowns’ because of the typhoon.

Cusi narrated that “as of 7:00am, linemen were having difficulty in the restoration works due to wind and rain,” with him stressing that “safety” is also being prioritized in deploying people in the field for electricity service restoration activities.

As of this writing, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) also reported that vast scale of its transmission facilities in Northern and Southern Luzon had either been downed or damaged by this another extreme weather disturbance; and there’s no update yet on restoration given that the typhoon is still at its peak of pummeling some parts of the country.

In Northern Luzon, the transmission lines that were already unavailable include the: La Trinidad-Mankaya-Sagada line; Labrador-Malasiqui line; Hermosa-Guagua line; Botolan-Candelaria line; Botolan-Castillejos line; Concepcion-Camiling line; Cabanatuan-Bulualto line; Cabanatuan-Fatima line; Cabanatuan-San Isidro line; Cabanatuan-San Luis line; Mexico-Clark line; and Mexico-Calumpit line.

For the Southern Luzon part, the transmission facilities already out of service had been: Batangas-Mabini line; Batangas-Rosario line; Gumaca-Lopez line; Pitogo-Mulanay line; Famy-Comon line; Lumban-Famy line; Caliraya-Lumban line; Naga-Libmanan line; Naga-Tinambac line; Naga-Lagonoy line; Daraga-Ligao line; Daraga-Legaspi line; Daraga-Santo Domingo line; and Daraga-Sorsogon line.

NGCP further noted that its 500-kilovolt San Jose-Tayabas line was also unavailable; along with at least 10 lines of 230kV capacity, including the Nagsaag-Pantabangan line; Nagsaag-Casecnan line; Malolos-Hermosa line; Marilao-Hermosa line; Cabanatuan-Pantabangan line; San Jose-San Rafael line; Malaya-Lumban line; Gumaca-Labo line; Daraga-Naga line; and Naga-Labo line.

The transmission firm said “inspection and restoration of lines in the affected areas will be in full swing as soon as the weather allows.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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