Central Bukidnon suffers 12-hour brown out

MALAYBALAY CITY – (Bukidnon News Dispatch/04 Sept) Most power consumers in the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia and the towns of Cabanglasan, Lantapan, and San Fernando, suffered brownout for about 12 hours Saturday, nine of it due to a maintenance operation of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

The interruption affected portions of the coverage areas of the First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative (Fibeco) and the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative (Buseco).According to an NGCP advisory, as quoted by Leonard Leyros, Buseco public relation officer on Sept.1, they have scheduled power interruption on Sept. 3 from 8:30a.m. to 6p.m. to  “effect transmission line work to replace steel poles” in the Maramag to Aglayan 69kv line.

In an SMS sent Saturday evening, Elizabeth Ladaga, NGCP corporate communications officer, power interruption was scheduled to facilitate replacement of light weight towers to steel poles.

“This was undertaken by NGCP to enhance reliability of its power transmission lines, thereby improving our service,” she added in the text advisory, which she said was relayed earlier to the media and local government officials.

Power was restored by past 8:30p.m, after it tripped off twice. From Malaybalay City, power first went on by 7:04p.m. but tripped off 12 minutes later. By 7:16p.m, it came back for a few minutes only to be out again.

Ladaga clarified that they restored power late in the afternoon.

“In our part, our line was completely energized at 4:42p.m,” she added in an SMS by 8:23p.m.

Buseco admitted the delay and asked for “patience and understanding.”

“We have to extend the restoration of power in Aglayan sub-station due to wiring and installation of our SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition). Estimated restoration of power would be 7p.m. maximum,” Florgene Sumintan of Buseco Manolo Fortich, who sent advisories to the media.

Sumintan said Buseco’s technical services department used the NGCP scheduled brown out and was unable to send a public advisory anymore on the extension of the power interruption. From 6p.m., it was extended to 7p.m.

Leyros, the public relations officer, said when power was restored as scheduled, another brown out occurred minutes after because a portion of the primary line got grounded when it touched a portion of the neural line along Magsaysay Street.

In another text message in response to a query by this reporter, Buseco explained that someone cut bamboo poles during the brown out and did not report that it hit the primary line. Neighbors reported the incident to Buseco, Sumintan said.

Saturday’s 12-hour brown put came in a series of power interruptions in Bukidnon since Thursday, when at 5p.m. to 9p.m. most of the province was also in darkness. NGCP owned the incident saying linemen found a “toppled gmelina tree between structures 158 and 159 somewhere along Maramag-Busco section”. The Maramag-Aglayan, Malaybalay substation tripped-off, they added.    The power interruption affected most of the clients of Fibeco and Buseco.

The following day, Sept. 2, Malaybalay and Valencia City also suffered close to five hours of power interruption from past 9am to past 1p.m. A damaged cross arm was reported to have caused fire on a wooden pole at the back of Valencia Rubbertex factory in Km. 4, Malaybalay City. Buseco officials said they replaced the wooden pole with steel.

Rene Cortizano, Fibeco general manager, noted that the NGCP needs to do preventive maintenance operations “that maybe scheduled from time to time.”

But board member Roland Deticio, among those who gave reactions on the brown outs said local electric cooperatives should at least exercise full disclosure when they inform the public about the power interruptions. He said if they are also doing their own installations, then they must say so and not only announce that maintenance work is done only by NGCP. (Walter I. Balane)

For more stories on Bukidnon, please also visit: www.mindanews.com

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