COVID-19 task force assures enough supply amid Luzon-wide quarantine

The Philippine government on Wednesday, April 15, assured the public that there are enough supplies of power, water, rice, and food while Luzon is under an enhanced community quarantine to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

Cabinet Secretary and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Spokesperson Karlo Nograles cited a report by the Department of Energy, saying that there is enough power supply in Luzon as it has an available capacity of 11,795 megawatts.

“For the power demands in Luzon, the Department of Energy reports that we have an available capacity of 11,795 MW, which is greater than the actual peak demand of 7,323 MW in Luzon,” he noted.

“This means we currently have an excess capacity of 4,742 MW. Lubos din ang suplay natin ng kuryente [rito] po sa Luzon (We have enough power supply here in Luzon),” he added.

Nograles also said that three million poor consumers of electric cooperatives nationwide will be receiving relief through the Pantawid Liwanag program led by the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc.

“To our countrymen who consume less than 50 kilowatt per hour or the lifeline consumers of electric cooperatives here in Luzon and also in Visayas and Mindanao — apart from the one-month grace period in the payment of power bills — your consumption for the March to April billing period will be for free,” he said.

For Luzon’s water supply, the Task Force spokesman said the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has given the full water allocation of 46 cubic meters per second to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) from the Angat Dam until April 30 to ensure the continuous supply of water in Metro Manila.

“We can be sure that the supply of water here in NCR (National Capital Region) would be continuous while we are in the midst of the enhanced community quarantine,” Nograles said.
He also guaranteed that there is sufficient food supply in Luzon.

Likewise, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez echoed this sentiment.

“Sa pagkain ho, wala tayong problema. In fact, mga 80 to 90 percent ang production capacity [natin] (We have no problem in food supply. In fact, we have about 80 to 90 percent production capacity),” he said.

Meanwhile, National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Judy Carol Dansal assured rice supply will not be an issue.

“Hindi lang sapat, sobra (We have more than enough),” she said.

80,000 sacks of rice from Ilocos, Cagayan, and Central Luzon have been distributed to Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela by the agriculture department.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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