At least 145 students in Occidental Mindoro have been hospitalized since March due to extreme heat, according to Andrew Bernardo’s GMA Regional TV Balitang Southern Tagalog report aired in “24 Oras” on Friday.
In some schools, students conduct their dance practice outside the classroom for better ventilation.
"Kung sa loob kasi ang practice, mainit, sobrang init baka merong mahimatay diyan katulad ng nangyayari sa San Jose yung mga estudyante marami na pong nahihimatay doon,” Provincial Training Center guard Mean Limos said.
(If they do the dance practice inside, it's too hot, they might collapse, like what's happening in San Jose, the students were already collapsing there.)
“Mayroon tayong scheme na ang mga bata ay wala sa loob ng paaralan between 10:30 a.m. hanggang alas tres ng hapon, ‘yung sobrang init,” Rodel Magnaye, assistant school division superintendent of Occidental Mindoro, said.
(We have a scheme that children should not be inside the classroom between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., it's very hot.)
Occidental Mindoro Governor Eduardo Gadiano said on Friday the province has been placed under a state of calamity due to the 20-hour daily power outage for the last month and a half.
Gadiano said the province only has a four-hour power supply on a daily basis which has been affecting the livelihood and health of his constituents.
Residents and business owners also expressed concern over the power outage experienced in the province.
“Hindi makatulog dahil sa sobrang init pati mga apo hindi makatulog (We cannot sleep due to the extreme heat, including my grandchildren),” resident Dolores Garcia said.
“Nagbabayad ka ng tama, pero wala kang makuhang magandang serbisyo (We are paying right, but we don't get good service),” another resident Danica Atienza said.
“Nagka-karga kami ng gasolina sa generator pinapaandar namin halos maghapon mahal ang gasolina eh (We load gasoline into the generator and run it most of the day, the gasoline is expensive),” business owner Nilda Go said.
"Ang aming pagkain kailangan namin ng malamig na tubig, malamig na softdrinks, hindi kami makabenta (We need cold water, cold soft drinks, otherwise, we can't sell them),” another business owner Lilia De Jesus said.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) explained that the original electricity supplier has no means to purchase crude oil for the power generation.
“Ang supply po natin sa kasalukuyan ay 12 megawatts lang at ang kakulangan ng suplay ng kuryente sa Occidental ay nasa about 18 megawatts, dahil po ito sa ang OMCPC nililimitahan din niya yung kanyang supply dahil sa isyu ng subsidy mula sa universal charge for missionary electrification,” Celso Garcia, OMECO general manager, said.
(Our current supply is only 12 megawatts and the lack of electricity supply in Occidental is about 18 megawatts, this is because the OMCPC also limits its supply due to the issue of subsidy from the universal charge for missionary electrification.)
The Energy Department said it is in the process of communicating with the new supplier of electricity to provide 24-hour supply to the province.
“Mailabas ng ERC ‘yung ruling nila pagdating dito sa pagbibigay ng provisional authority para umandar itong makina na nandito sa Mindoro,” Gadiano said.
(The ERC must release its ruling on granting provisional authority to operate this machine here in Mindoro.)—Richa Noriega/LDF, GMA Integrated News