PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said the national government will help resolve the power distribution issues in Western Visayas following power outages in the region’s Panay and Negros islands since Friday.
“Negros and Panay islands are the ones having problems now. The irony is Negros actually has a surplus of power supply,” the president told reporters onboard a plane en route to Washington, based on a Palace-supplied transcript released on Monday.
“The reason why there’s a brownout is because of the distribution system in the high-tension wire,” he said partly in Filipino. “So that’s what we will have to look into.”
The country’s power transmission system is operated by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), a privately-owned consortium composed of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp., Calaca High Power Corp., and the State Grid Corporation of China as technical partner.
When asked whether the national government would take over power distribution in the area, Mr. Marcos said: “I won’t take over anything. We’ll augment… on the distribution side because that has been the problem.”
The president said what the government was initially looking into was how to “get the surplus power out of Negros into the rest of the Visayas because they’re at a net loss, a net undersupply.”
“But suddenly, this comes up and it turns out it’s because of the distribution system not the power supply.”
Western Visayas is composed of Negros Occidental in Negros island; Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo in Panay; and the island province of Guimaras. The regional center is Iloilo City, one of the fastest growing urban areas in the country.
The region suffered a major power outage over the weekend, starting with a total blackout in the entire Panay and Guimaras islands on Friday.
The Department of Energy on Sunday said the power interruptions in Panay may continue indefinitely as the NGCP was still working on the full recovery of the island’s grid. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza