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Gov’t to cut power, oil supply in Taal locked-down areas —DOE

The Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday said it will temporarily suspend electricity services and cut the supply of petroleum in several areas placed on lockdown due to the ongoing activity of the Taal Volcano.

At a press conference in Taguig City, Energy Undersecretary and spokesperson Felix Fuentebella said the DOE will implement the order of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Council (NDRRMC).

“We will implement the lockdown in the areas affected by the Taal Volcano eruption,” Fuentebella said.

“We have to work under the umbrella of the Council, meaning when the Council has declared already the lockdown in the area, the energy family, the distribution utilities, the transmission group the NGCP (National Grid Corp. of the Philippines) and also the power plants, the oil companies will also have to implement this,” he said.

Upon the declaration of an area or municipality under lockdown, the Energy official said, agencies under the DOE sector will implement the following:

  • Suspension of electricity services in the lockdown areas
  • Suspension of supply of downstream oil products in those areas

The NDRRMC has placed the following areas under total lockdown:

  • Lemery
  • Agoncillo
  • Laurel
  • Talisay (with window hours at 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. as of Wednesday morning, January 22)
  • San Nicolas

Meanwhile, the following are under partial lockdown:

  • Mataas na Kahoy (Barangays Nangkaan, Manggahan, Lumang Lipa, Kinalaglagan, San Sebastian, Bayorbor, Santol, Bubuyan and Loob)
  • Tanauan City (Barangays Ambulong, Banadero, Bagbag, Balete, Banjo Laurel, Bilog Bilog, Janopol, Boot, Gonzales, Janopol Oriental, Luyos, Mabini, Maria Paz, Maugat, Montana, Natatas, San Jose, Santor, Talaga, Tinurik and Wawa)
  • Balete (barangays within shoreline, Poblacion, Magapi, Calawit, Sala, Makina, Palsara, San Sebastian, Solis, Looc, Sampalocan, Alangilan)
  • Lipa City (Barangays Halang, Bulaklakan, Duhatan, and a portion of Bagong Pook specifically in Latag)
  • Sta. Teresita (Barangays Calumala, Tambo Ilaya, Tambo Ibaba, Saimsim, and Burol)
  • Cuenca starting January 24, Friday (Poblacion 1-8, Calumayin, Don Juan, Balagbag, Dita, Ibabao, San Isidro, Pinagkaisahan, and San Felipe)

On bringing back the power supply, Fuentebella said instructions and communications lines should be clear.

While electricity services will be suspended in locked down areas, the DOE official said evacuation centers will have to be supplied with power or other energy services “pero yung surrounding niya e wala.”

“This is to ensure that everyone, especially the people of Batangas and the other affected areas, are safe,” Fuentebella said.

“We are of the support of the council because these instructions from the council have basis, scientific basis para masiguro yung safety and we also acknowledge the inconvenience and the difficulty, yung kahirapan at saka yung istorbo na mararamdaman nung mga affected but this is because we have to ensure their safety,” he said.

The DOE official also noted that energy stakeholders were directed to ensure power supply in hospitals and vital government installations such as command centers of local government units. — MDM, GMA News