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Daily Archives: April 8, 2010

Brownouts are back — a “dry run” for the coming elections?

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The frequent brownouts in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces have led to speculations that this is a “dry run” of sorts for the upcoming May elections. One cannot help but suspect this scenario because next month’s elections will be the first time in history that COMELEC will use a computerized system of collecting and counting votes.

Below are more details of the recent power failures…

Brownouts back in oven-hot Metro, Luzón

As if the sizzling summer were not enough, rotating brownouts are back in Metro Manila and Luzón, shutting down air-conditioners and electric fans that help people cope with the heat.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s biggest power distributor, said all cities and towns in its franchise area were affected by the outages Wednesday as a result of the huge power supply deficit in the Luzón grid.

In Metro Manila, traffic in certain areas like the South Expressway at the Pásay Road, Buendía and Vito Cruz intersections were particularly heavy. The traffic lights went dead.

Policemen had to direct the traffic to keep the vehicles flowing.

Meralco said it implemented two-hour rotating brownouts between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. in the whole of Metro Manila and in the provinces of Batangas, Bulacán, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Quezon and Rizal.

The power supply deficiency in the Luzón grid reached 662 megawatts (MW), bigger than Mindanáo’s deficit of 538 MW as of Wednesday afternoon, according to National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

Metro Manila and other parts of Luzón may continue to experience one- to two-hour rotating brownouts on Thursday as several power facilities are not operating.

Acting Energy Secretary José Ibazeta said the power situation would normalize in Luzón by “next week or so.”

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