top of page

Brownouts and Burnouts

Do they really have to continue this practice of chronic lengthy whole-day power interruption in the middle of this extraordinarily intense high temperature across the nation, especially with Pili making a mark among the places with highest heat indices? I mean, do they really have to? Seriously, do they really have to? Where is the compassion in that? Where is consideration? Where is mercy? I’m no electrician. I’m no engineer. They may give some explanation of some transformer or station or whatever they call it needing some maintenance that could not be put off at a later date. They may drown us with technical jargon on how electrical transmission works; and all those justifications would probably go past my head because I may not really understand nothing of it. But are these whole-day brownouts indispensably necessary?

I remember that there had been times that the scheduled whole-day power suspension was put off due to the request of some Organization. In consideration of school children, of government transactions, of some important event, they had been able to put off the brownout. Then , they had not rescheduled it immediately on the next day. Sometimes, they had reset it on the next weekend. Sometimes, hey had not done that. They were able to adjust for the sake of classes in school, for some important occasion, for something that does not directly concern health and well-being. So, that gives me the impression that these lengthy deprivation of power can be adjusted. That gives me the impression that maybe, maybe it’s not as necessary as they claim it is. As a matter of fact, it could be postponed, sometimes, even cancelled.

If these allegedly highly necessary repairs that cause widespread, long-running power shutdowns could be postponed out of consideration or respect for some important event, then, all the more, it could be, and most definitely should be postponed or put off for most noble humanitarian considerations. Does the barangay council call for an assembly in the middle of torrential rains? No, because it would certainly compromise the safety of the citizens. It would just put people in more danger. Would people in authority cut power from electric ventilation, refrigeration and air conditioning for a long period of time in the middle of extraordinarily intense heat that could cause health problems and has long caused inconvenience? International media organizations have been covering the highly dangerous heat that has been sweeping through South and |Southeast Asia as a climate change phenomenon for which local infrastructure is not prepared for. Shall people in power further plunge the populace in even greater danger? What do linemen do during these power suspensions? Do they go around checking posts, cables and transformers out under the horrendous heat of the sun? Would that be considered safe and sensible? Does a farmer check his rice field in the middle of a heavy downpour? Do fishermen go out to sea in the middle of a storm? It is simply and unthinkably insensitive.

If it were really essentially necessary, could it not be cut in an hour or two? Does it really have to last a whole disturbing day? Well, at least, they did not decide to schedule it through a whole night. What I can’t get over in my mind is that in the past, they had easily modified the schedule of these brownouts. Now, in the middle of this intense heat which spun school schedules in confusion and malls in higher window shopper population, can’t they do that for humanitarian considerations and as response to current situations?

So, what do cooperative member consumers do? Maybe, they could spend all day enjoying the air conditioning in the mall. They could go to the beach or some resort. Maybe, they could sweat it out all day trying to find relief with a hand-held fan. Maybe, it would be a good time to visit family or friends in neighboring towns that would not experience the long brownout. Maybe, they have generator sets. Maybe, they could go to Bicol Loco in Albay, and at least take some pictures with the hot-air balloons in the backdrop.

From what I know, the community should come together in times of calamities, natural or otherwise. That’s why we have volunteer fire brigades. Residents in dangerous areas are assisted to evacuation centers on typhoons. That’s why power is cut when rains get heavy and floods start to rise, to decrease the risk of accidents. But it seems that in the middle of intense heat, we don’t know how to help each other?

Hebrews 13:16: “do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.””


bottom of page