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PIA Press Release

Save energy on election day, urges coop

by Christy Carole Sanico

Tagum City (1 May) -- An electric cooperative official here urged big industries and consumers to conserve power before and during the holding of the automated election especially at peak hours to ensure adequate supply of electricity and to avoid power shortage.

"We need the help and commitment of big industries and consumers to conserve energy," stressed Allan Laniba of Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO).

DANECO has laid down its contingency plan for the May 2010 elections during the joint 265th quarterly conference held here on Thursday (April 29, 2010) of the Regional of the Disaster Coordinating Council XI and Davao del Norte Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council.

Part of the contingency plan is to encourage its consumers to put off their appliances during peak hours. "We are calling for everyone in the province to do their part in keeping our elections organized and successful by turning off some of your appliances at home around 6 PM to 9 PM to conserve energy," Laniba emphasized.

According to Laniba, the period from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM is the province's highest point of consumers' daily energy usage. He said It is when most people use the most amount of electricity.

Another contingency plan is to encourage big industrial establishments (e.g malls, supermarkets) and commercial consumers to use embedded generators during the elections and to implement power control three days before and after the conduct of elections.

The other plan is to purchase energy directly at power barge in Maco and to implement public campaigns on conserving energy during elections.

He disclosed that DANECO could only release 29 megawatts during peak hours, but "we consume 62 megawatts." He said that this is one reason of the continuing power interruptions in the province.

"3-4 hours ato-ang brownouts diri sa Davao del Norte, ubos na kini ikumpara sa 6-7 hours sa ubang mga lugar," (Brownouts in Davao del Norte lasts for 3-4 hours which is lower compared to the 6 to 7-hour brownouts in other places), Laniba said.

However, Laniba assured the public that "if all people will participate in saving power energy" power shortage could be avoided.

"We are working hand-in-hand with COMELEC regarding this" said Laniba adding that COMELEC has agreed on DANECO's contingency plan.

He stated that they have to educate the consumers regarding power control. "We can't force the public [to participate] but we are encouraging them," he said.

Meanwhile, Laniba also revealed a shortage of power plants in the province. He stated that some private investors are hesitating to build power plants in Mindanao due to security reasons.

He further stated that more private power plants invest in Luzon areas where a kilowatt hour costs higher at eight pesos compared to Mindanao, with only four pesos/kWh.

The last reason of the shortage according to Laniba is "the time needed to build a power plant. Normally, it will take 2 to 3 years to finish and it's costly." (PIA-XI) [top]

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