By: Tara Yap
ILOILO City’s sole power distributor Panay Electric Co. (PECO) has issued a public apology to the city government of Iloilo and its residents for the May 2 power interruptions.
“PECO would like to apologize for the unfortunate event wherein the City of Iloilo suffered several blackouts and power interruptions,” said PECO president and CEO Luis Miguel Cacho.
“We understand and know fully well the inconvenience and setbacks suffered by the citizens and businesses as a result of the incident,” Cacho added in a letter addressed to City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.
The May 2 power interruptions is said to have made the Iloilo City business community lose an estimated P3 million and caused considerable discomfort to city residents, especially during the very hot summer season.
PECO’s 20-MVA transformer in its Gen. Luna substation initially had a mini-explosion7:44am of May 2.
However, PECO’s technical team encountered problems in its attempt to restore power, which caused intermittent blackouts as well as tripping the 164-MW coal-fired power plant of Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC).
“Our engineers worked nonstop to fix the unit and we tried to energize the 20-MVA substation twice that day hoping to restore normal supply of power, but attempts resulted in two more blackouts,” Cacho noted.
“At this point, we decided to isolate and remove the right 13.8kV cubicle that was having problems in an attempt to restore the substation without it,” Cacho noted.
PECO disclosed it will have a thorough check of the Gen. Luna substation as a means of ensuring its reliability.
The almost whole-day intermittent blackout prompted Mabilog to call for a review of PECO’s 25-year franchise with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Jeffrey Celiz, Mabilog’s political liaison officer, also urged ERC to investigate PECO for its “inefficient service and failure to properly inform the public of what was going on.”