The Department of Energy and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) are still investigating the reason behind the Metro Manila and Luzon blackout on May 8, which disrupted operations of the LRTA trains and Skyway.
Metro Manila and large part of Luzon have experienced widespread brownout on Wednesday afternoon, just five days before the 2013 national elections.
The brownout started at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon secondary to supply deficiency after five power plants went an unscheduled shut down. These include the Ilijan Natural Gas, Santa Rita Natural Gas and San Lorenzo Combined Cycle Gas in Batangas, Sual Power Plant in Pangasinan and the Quezon Power Coal in Quezon Province, which supply 45% or 3,700 megawatt, which caused the blackout.
The cause of the unexpected shut down of these plants was undetermined as of press time. Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza, in an interview with ABS-CBN News, said that an investigation is currently underway to find out the reason behind these power plant outages.
“Ang hirap talaga hanapin ang sanhi at hanggang ngayon hinahanap pa. Kasi ang problema dito most of the plants are ready to give power kaya lang pag nagbigay tayo ng power tapos kapag nag-trip na naman, magrereklamo na naman kayo. So ang ginagawa natin ngayon, we’re making sure that before we bring back the power, tine-test muna yung integrity ng linya,” he said to ABS-CBN.
Due to power generation deficiency brought about by the outage of several power plants, Meralco had to implement a 4-hour rotational brown-out before slowly restoring supply in its area of coverage.
The blackout temporarily disrupted operation of the LRT1 and LRT 2, as well as the Skyway; normal operations were back after a few hours.
By 9:46PM, Wednesday, all power outages have been restored according to Meralco on its Twitter account (@meralco).
“All power outages were restored at 9:46 PM. If still without power please message us your Service Identification Number (SIN) and contact number/s or call our Hotline numbers 16211 and 631-11-11 for the necessary report. You may also send a text message (SMS) to mobile numbers 0920-971-6211or 0917-551-6211,” Meralco tweeted.
With these power outages occurring just days prior to the midterm polls, a question if these a sabotage could be behind these power supply interruption. Petilla, however, dispels these rumors and believes that it could just be coincidental. He also assures public that an enough power supply will be available on election day on May 13. However, should similar incident happen on Monday, the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines will not be affected because it has emergency power supply.
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