Addressing Widespread Power Outages
The Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (INEC) has announced its plan to work closely with local government units in a coordinated effort to mitigate power interruptions that have been plaguing the province. These disruptions have become a significant concern for residents and businesses, prompting INEC to take action.
Towns Affected by Recent Outages
On a Wednesday morning, at approximately 7 a.m., a temporary power cut inconvenienced the residents of several towns in Ilocos Norte. The affected areas included the entire town of Banna, except Barangay Barbarangay, as well as Nueva Era, Marcos (except Barangays Imelda, Mabuti, Lydia, Pacifico, and Valdez), and some villages in Pinili and Badoc.
Fortunately, the power was restored within an hour, but the community has been frustrated by the frequent disruptions.
Root Cause of Recent Interruption
INEC attributed the latest power interruption to a leaning bamboo tree that came into contact with the three-phase primary line at Sitio Saranay in Barangay Caribquib, Banna. This incident underscores the pressing need for proactive measures to maintain the power infrastructure and reduce such disruptions.
A History of Power Woes
This recent episode is not an isolated incident; in fact, power interruptions have been occurring frequently throughout the province. On October 30, during the counting of votes in several election precincts, some areas experienced emergency power interruptions due to bird electrocution. This pattern of interruptions has had a significant impact on the daily lives of residents and local businesses.
INEC’s Response and Road Clearing Plan
Cipriano Martinez, the acting general manager of INEC, has acknowledged the root cause of these disruptions—the absence of road-clearing operations. To address this issue, INEC is planning a comprehensive, one-time, and large-scale road-clearing operation across all areas of the province.
The operation is targeted to be completed within a month and will be a joint effort with local government units. INEC aims to secure additional heavy equipment and manpower resources to ensure its success.
Collaboration and NGCP’s Role
Martinez has also appealed to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to expedite upgrading works in Ilocos Norte, emphasizing that these enhancements are crucial to overcoming recurring power interruptions that have been affecting both the first and second districts of the province.
In addition, Martinez has urged NGCP to limit power interruptions during corrective maintenance works to a maximum of six hours. He also requested NGCP to provide at least one month’s notice before implementing maintenance works. This advance notice would enable INEC to inform its member-consumers and allow them to make necessary adjustments.
In summary, people see INEC’s proactive approach and collaboration with local authorities as essential steps to alleviate the frequent power interruptions that have affected the daily lives and businesses of Ilocos Norte’s residents. The hope is that these efforts will lead to a more reliable and stable power supply in the region.