(Taguig City). The Inter-Agency Task Force on Securing Energy Facilities (IATFSEF) composed of the Department of Energy, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the other industry players moved to secure the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LASURECO) compound.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi earlier issued firm marching orders to the IATFSEF to “secure every energy facility in Mindanao.”
Through the IATFSEF, the system operator–National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP)–reported that the Mindanao Grid is now under normal operation. NGCP initially reported a lower electricity demand in Lanao del Sur reaching only 5 megawatts (MW) on Wednesday (24 May) which increased to 11 MW today, lower than the usual demand of 17 MW.
As an immediate concern in yesterday’s IATFSEF meeting, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and LASURECO reported today that 95% of electricity services in Marawi City has been restored.
According to NEA, the remaining non-operational assets are scheduled to be restored today as well. They are also monitoring and awaiting ground data for re-energization of affected towns in the 2nd District of Lanao del Sur, including Wato, Tugaya, Bacolod Kalawi, Madamba, Madalum, Ganasi, Pualas, and Pagayawan.
“We are pooling our resources and seeking assistance from the AFP and the PNP to normalize the security situation, protect our people and secure energy facilities affected by the fighting,” Cusi said.
“We must prioritize the safety of our people, especially those personnel on duty in the energy facilities, and at the same time protect our energy assets,” Cusi emphasized.
Cusi said the Inter-Agency Task Force had been organized to prevent terrorists from targeting energy facilities and to help restore normalcy in the province as soon as possible.
In a related development, Palawan Lomondaya, National Power Corp. (NPC) Plant Manager of Agus 1&2 Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) Complex, has reported that he is planning to shut down one unit only to preserve station service for Agus 1 HEP due to an M-79 grenade landing in the plant’s vicinity, apparently fired by the Maute Group that’s now the target of intensive search-and-destroy operations by the military. Nevertheless, the NPC are continuously are mobilizing their technical personnel to ensure the delivery of sufficient supply and to meet the demand of its consumers.
“I commend the energy personnel on the ground who have been ensuring the delivery of basic energy services to our people, especially in Marawi City,” Cusi concluded.