News Release

Power supply in Western Visayas back to normal, says ERC


The supply of electricity has been restored in Panay Island in the Western Visayas as the power plant in the region resumed operation on Friday, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said.

“Iyon pong plantang huli na hinihintay na mag-operate, nakapag-synchronize na po sa grid ng around 1:30 in the morning kaya po unti-unti naiakyat na po iyong pag-supply niya,” Monalisa Dimalanta, the ERC chairperson said in a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday.

“Noon pong hapon, between 12 noon to around 2 o’clock, nag-normalize na po iyong sitwasyon sa Western Visayas kaya din po inangat na po ng NGCP (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines), ng SO, ng system operator natin lahat ng constraints at bumalik na din po iyong commercial operation ng WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) ng Spot Market in the Visayas Region,” she said.

Although the power supply in the Western Visayas returned to normal, the ERC will still continuously monitor the electricity supply in the region after it experienced prolonged blackouts this week.

Responding to NGCP’s statement on its services saying it is only confined to power transmission, Dimalanta disputed the pronouncement, saying NGCP is mandated to handle system operations.

“Ang ibig sabihin po nito, nasa prangkisa mismo nila at nasa EPIRA na ang trabaho po ng system operator ay paniguruhin ang safe and reliable operation of the grid,” Dimalanta pointed out.

“So, hindi po iyon nasasakop noon pong kanilang statement na sinabi na transmission lang ng power – as if the system will balance itself as long as they transmit power. Hindi po kasi nagsasariling-sikap iyong sistema, kailangan po mayroon talaga pong nagpapatupad noong pagbalanse. System operator po, iyon po ‘yung trabaho po niya (NGCP).”

The ERC official said its investigation is ongoing, noting that initially the ERC got information that the first unit failed around 12 noon on January 2, which was followed by successive failures of other units totaling six units by that time.

“Pero so far po kasi, wala pa po kaming nakikita at wala din po naman sinasabi sila (NGCP) na ginawa nila during the two-hour window except to say na normal naman daw po iyong state during the two-hour window – doon po siguro kami may pagkakaiba ng appreciation ng sitwasyon,” Dimalanta said.

On Friday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. directed the ERC to immediately implement a reset of the rates of NGCP following the island-wide blackout that gripped Western Visayas since January 2.

The chief executive also ordered to ensure that NGCP continues to abide with its statutory and regulatory obligations.

Marcos lamented that while power has been restored, the situation has caused significant hardship to residents, crippling businesses, compromising livelihoods and endangering those in need of healthcare. PND