EDITORIAL: Synchronize Power Cut-offs Schedule



Not for a few instances, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and electric cooperatives have effected scheduled power outages, claiming regular maintenance or clearing operations mostly intended to reduce systems loss.


Scheduled electrical interruptions are to a layman’s language those within the control by either or both the NGCP and electric coops. The consumers therefore have no choice but to face reality and for that matter have to devise ways and means of making themselves relatively comfortable and productive in the face of the absence of electricity.


Some even resort to power generators which need to consume either diesel or gasoline. Given that the prices of these commodities are almost beyond the reach of average electric consumers, a sizeable amount is needed to make do with the situation.


Among those severely hit are hospitals, restaurants and even online workers employed via Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), printing presses, broadcast and telecommunication establishments, repair and machine shops, movie houses and manufacturing or processing plants, etc.


In the case of the hospitals, resort to power generators is a must in order to provide needed medical services. As to hotels, restaurants and movie theaters, they have to avail of power generators or else they will not be able to provide the services their establishments are supposed to render.


When it comes to BPOs many are currently working at home online courtesy of BPOs rendering tutorial, digital fine arts talents and in some instances accounting or even bookkeeping services.


In Camarines Sur alone, hundreds are working online as medical transcriptionists home-based. All of these services make use of electricity and once NGCP and /or electric cooperatives effect scheduled power outages, they have to functionalize privately owned power generators which consume a lot of fuel.


Considering that these power cut-offs are self-imposed by NGCP and the electric cooperatives, ways and means have to be availed of, for practical purposes. For this reason, NGCP and the power coops must come up with a workable arrangement so that the power consumers do not doubly suffer from the burdens attributable to the outages.


The expenses could be halved if only NGCP and the electric cooperatives are in constant coordination with each other, with the end in view of reducing the number of electric cut-offs by synchronizing such scheduled power interruptions.


The NGCP should announce in advance within a reasonable period of time, the intended electric cut-offs for maintenance purposes. For their part, the power coops should be able to come-up with strategies in order that the so-called clearing activities are be conducted in synchronization with the NGCP.


This way electricity will be absent at a lesser frequency. This is so because when NGCP imposes electric cut-offs and the electric cooperatives implement the same without proper coordination, consumers suffer the consequences twice if not more.


Of course, power outages caused by circumstances beyond the control of NGCP and the electric cooperatives, are not capable of being synchronized for obvious reason. They are beyond human control in the sense that they may be classified as force majeure.