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NGCP complied with expert panel’s recommendations on 2023 Panay blackout, says ERC 

NGCP.jpg(MANILA BULLETIN)

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has told congressmen that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has complied with the requirements of an independent investigative panel on the April 2023 blackout on Panay Island–at least for the most part.

ERC Chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta gave this statement Thursday, Jan. 11 during the House Committee on Energy’s inquiry on the blackout, which has overlapped with the inquiry on a similar widespread power outage last Jan. 2.

During the public hearing Thursday, Deputy Majority Leader Iloilo 3rd district Rep. Lorenz Defensor asked the ERC about the result of its probe on the NGCP in connection with the blackout on Panay Island nine months ago.

“The April incident was investigated by the interim grid management committee. This was the group of experts,” Dimanlanta said.

“They submitted their recommendation to the ERC. We facilitated the discussion with NGCP, because all of the recommendations required actions of NGCP including coordination with the generating plants; simulations, several simulations that were required of NGCP of several scenarios, contingencies,” she narrated.

The ERC chief said the privately-owned grid operator had submitted its report last November, or two month before the second power outage.

“As of the November report of NGCP, they indicated all of these measures. Almost all, I think only one remained as completed,” Dimalanta said.

At this point, Defensor asked: “So do you agree with me…that among your recommendations that NGCP coordinate with the stakeholders, they failed to coordinate for the Jan. 2 incident?”

“From the current records, yes,” answered Dimalanta.

The Jan. 2 power interruption affected Panay and Negros islands. In some areas, there was no electricity service for up to three days.

Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, committee chairman, subsequently asked Dimalanta if there was confirmation that NGCP had carried out the expert panel’s recommended simulations.

The latter responded by saying that they’re waiting for the corporation’s detailed report.

“It was a short report that they submitted in November. We ordered them to submit the detailed reports, they have not submitted the detailed reports.”

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