Meralco: No power outage in 2010

Posted at 09/18/2009 6:34 PM | Updated as of 09/18/2009 7:24 PM

MANILA - Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) assured its customers that it can provide reliable electricity service, following reports that the Philippines is facing a looming power outage next year.

In a statement released Friday, Meralco External Communications Manager Joe Zaldarriaga said it will coordinate with the Department of Energy (DOE) and independent power producers to ensure that there will be no power interruptions in 2010, especially in the upcoming national elections.

"We always have in place contingency measures in the event of a power shortfall, and we are optimistic that a solution is in sight to address the concern," Zaldarriaga said.

According to Zaldarriaga, Meralco has all the necessary measures to respond to any emergency situation. "On the distribution side, we can assure our customers that, as long as there is adequate generated power, we can distribute such electric power in our franchise area," he said.

Meralco's franchise area covers Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and some parts of Laguna, Quezon, Batangas, and Pampanga.

Early this week, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes warned that there may be nationwide power outages next year, stressing the need to grant emergency powers to President Arroyo to address this problem.

"It is mandatory that we have adequate and secure supply (of electricity) to ensure a smooth 2010 elections, and that is the challenge at hand," Reyes told reporters.

On top of this, Reyes asked Congress to allocate some P3 billion to finance a power contingency plan made by the National Power Corp. Once the proposal is approved by the DOE, Reyes said this would be submitted to Malacanang.

"We have a contingency that was prepared by Napocor but still to be presented to us. I told Congress about it and they asked how much it will cost. I said P3 billion over two years, as a rough estimate," Reyes said.