PGMA declares state of calamity in Mindanao

March 15, 2010 11:37 pm 

MANILA, March 15 — With no end in sight for the drought now wreaking havoc on crops and continuously bringing down electricity supply in Mindanao, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has placed the southern regions under a state of calamity.

The President on Friday issued Proclamation No. 2022 declaring a state of calamity in Mindanao, enabling the government to immediately take necessary measures to mitigate the impact of the prolonged dry spell in the South due to the El Nino weather phenomenon.

Proclamation 2022, states that “the El Nino phenomenon and the absence of new large generation capacities have aggravated the power supply situation in the Mindanao Grid.”

“While the Local Government Code confers upon the local government units the power to determine and declare a state of calamity in their respective localities, the declaration by the President of a state of calamity is still necessary for the disbursement of the national calamity fund under the General Appropriations Act.”

The Department of Energy, which recommended the declaration of state of emergency in the South, was directed and authorized to take steps to “address and resolve the crisis expeditiously.”

All departments and government agencies concerned were also directed to implement and execute appropriate programs in accordance with the existing operational plans and directives and orders issued in connection with the calamity.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines reported that the Mindanao grid will continue to experience generation deficiency of approximately 632 MW today, compared to last Friday’s deficiency of 602 MW.

The said reduced deficiency can be attributed to a decrease in today' peak demand. The limited power supply in the island is still caused by the inadequate available capacities from the grid's main power sources — National Power Corporation's hydro power plants. Almost all of these plants have water reservoirs that are drying up due to the El Niño.

The Energy department has recommended four courses of action “to immediately solve the power supply situation in Mindanao.” These are:

— Lease-rental of (160 Megawatts) Gensets (power generators)

— Operation and maintenance of the 30-MW Iligan Diesel Power Plant 1 (IDPP)

— Enter into an operation and maintenance agreement with Alsons for IDPP2

— Contract additional 5 MW from the Southern Philippines Power Corp. under an existing contract. (PNA)

LDV/OPS/ssc

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