NGCP cannot promise 'blackout-free' Mindanao on May 9

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) cannot guarantee a "blackout-free" Mindanao on election day.

While the NCGP expects sufficient power supply on May 9 because of low demand, there are problems that could endanger the grid.

Energy Sec. Zenaida Monsada said on Monday (April 25) there is still a power shortage in Mindanao, but all power supply will be diverted to voting centers on May 9.

Related: NGCP worried over possible power shortage during elections

With just two weeks before the elections, there are still areas in the region where trees have been planted under transmission lines — endangering power facilities.

Power facilities are mandated to clear areas under transmission lines, as trees or vegetation might affect power lines and cause an outage.

The NGCP said out of the 29 landowners involved in the clearing dispute, only half agreed to a settlement.

The remaining landowners are either asking exorbitant amounts or simply refuse to negotiate.

Related: Power supply in Luzon back to normal

"We did not want to resort to any actions without exhausting means... but we have less than two weeks to go. NGCP will have to step up and clear those lines with the help of AFP and PNP," said NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza.

"Time is running out, we have four days to go from the April 30 deadline for clearing. We will be calling on the full force of the Comelec (Commission on Elections) resolution."

The NGCP said that to eliminate threats to power supply, it has to guarantee all vulnerabilities in the grid is resolved before the elections.

Energy department hopeful

However, the Department of Energy (DOE) is optimistic. On Tuesday (April 26), they once again ensured there will be sufficient and stable power supply before, during, and after the May 9 elections.

The DOE's Power Task Force Election 2016 is almost done with their preparations.

“We are nearing completion of preparations to ensure the readiness of the systems and power stakeholders who have roles to play during the Election Day,” said Monsada.

Also read: Gov't assures public of 'comfortable' power supply during elections

All power generators will be running at full capacity during the elections, except for the 180 megawatts (MW) Kalayaan Unit 4, which is undergoing maintenance.

The Task Force inspected power grid facilities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao before holding a simulation drill to see if all systems are working at command centers around the country.

The DOE will also release efficiency measures and practices for the public so they can help avert power shortages during the critical election period.

Watch: DOE: There's enough power for coming weeks, May polls