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DOE sees light at end of tunnel in Palawan power woes

/ 03:59 PM August 03, 2019

The light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight for the long-suffering residents of Palawan following efforts of the Department of Energy (DOE) to ramp up support for a multi-sectoral program to end recurrent brownouts in the province.

In a meeting last week, stakeholders in the public and private sectors came up with various programs based on recent findings and recommendations by the DOE’s Task Force Paleco or Palawan Electric Cooperative.

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The special task force was created in February by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi to address complaints against power interruptions in Puerto Princesa and other parts of Palawan .

The Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee and the Task Force met with representatives of Paleco, the National Power Corporation (NPC), and provincial government agencies on Thursday (July 25) to discuss the progress of the implementation of their action plans.

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Paleco has been facing an angry backlash from both its consumers and the local government since 2017 due to unreliable power supply in the province.

Last February, Cusi directed Task Force Paleco to investigate the power situation, leading to two site inspections last February and March by task force members.

The task force found uncoordnated synchronization of the protection system of Paleco and NPC distribution lines, overloaded substations, vegetation obstruction along distribution lines and slow coordination among various government agencies on distribution line maintenance and improvements.

Based on these findings, the DOE directed Paleco, NPC and the National Electrification Administration to submit implementation programs.

Paleco was expected to accelerate tree clearing along its distribution lines, while the NPC was expected to fast track the improvement of its transmission lines and upgrade its power substations.

In the meeting, the inter-agency body and the task force presented its final report to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), a multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary body governing and implementing policies in the province, headed by Gov. Jose Chavez Alvarez.

The PCSD has pledged to help foster efficient coordination among the stakeholders and local government agencies to effectively address the power supply issues.

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The PCSD is composed of represebtatives from the local government and its agencies, consumer and business groups, as well as indigenous peoples.

“The DOE is committed to taking the lead in ensuring that Paleco’s issues will soon be addressed,” Cusi said in a statement.

He said with the help of all stakeholders, “we should be able to provide high quality electricity services that Palawenos deserve.”/tsb

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TAGS: Alfonso Cusi, brownouts, DoE, electricity, NPC, Palawan, paleco, task force
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