Tulfo calls for probe on Panay, Negros power outages

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 1) – Sen. Raffy Tulfo on Monday urged the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to conduct an in-depth probe on the ongoing rotational power outages on Panay and Negros islands.

The senator said this was after he received clashing statements from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and Central Negros Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Ceneco) regarding the power situation on the islands.

“Tinawagan na namin ang DOE at ERC para paimbestigahan ang problema at kung sino talaga ang pinag-ugatan dahil nagtuturuan ang NGCP at Ceneco,” he said.

[Translation: We have called the DOE and ERC to investigate the problem and who is really at the root because NGCP and Ceneco are pointing fingers on each other.]

The NGCP placed the Visayas grid – which includes the Panay, Cebu, Negros, Leyte, Samar, and Bohol island grids – on red alert on Thursday due to some disturbances detected in the transmission system.

It was later downgraded to yellow alert the following day. The alert means that a grid's "operating margin is insufficient to meet the transmission grid's regulating and contingency requirements."

On Saturday, the NGCP said some areas of Panay Island will continue to experience power outages as system disturbances continue to plague the Visayas grid.

READ: Panay island still facing power outages – NGCP

Who’s to blame?

Tulfo, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Energy, said he immediately created an investigation and monitoring team to look into the power interruption on Panay and Negros islands.

According to the senator, NGCP denied claims that they are the one responsible for the power outages, stressing that the tripping or line fault allegedly originated from the line of Ceneco.

Meanwhile, Ceneco argued that there was voltage fluctuation and frequency imbalance in the 69kV line that is under the management of NGCP.

Ceneco also reported that Panay and Negros electric cooperatives issued a unified stand pointing to the NGCP as the root of the problem.

Tulfo said he is continuously monitoring the situation.