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Public asked to conserve power

Philippines – Malacañang has sounded the alarm about the country’s tight power supply and appealed to the public to conserve electricity during the summer months.

The government has taken measures to remedy the power woes but would need the cooperation and support of the public, according to Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

“There is tightness in power supply because of heightened heat index and maintenance of power plants but the Department of Energy is addressing the situation,” Coloma said in Filipino over government radio.

“We also appeal to our countrymen to help by conserving electricity. If there are times when it is not really hot at night, we might as well save some energy and take other energy conservation measures,” he added.

Coloma said Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada has started to hold consultations and inspections of power installations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao “because of the existing tight supply situation.”

He recognized that more people are using electricity nowadays to cool down and cope with the intense summer heat.

“We are experiencing a heightened heat index. It is really hot nowadays. The rising temperature means soaring power demand,” he said.

Coloma said there are also “forced power outages” due to scheduled maintenance of several power plants this summer season. “These are being monitored by the Department of Energy. The main goal is to ensure the reliability of power supply,” he added.

Meanwhile, Malacañang said Metro Manila has adequate supply of water during the summer season but its residents should still conserve the precious resource.

Coloma made the statement after an increased evaporation of water in Angat Dam has been reported amid the summer heat aggravated by El Niño dry weather phenomenon.

“According to the National Water Resources Board led by Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, we have sufficient supply of water in Metro Manila,” Coloma said in Filipino over government radio.

“Nonetheless, it is still important to conserve water and observe other steps to save water, not waste the resource,” he added.

Authorities earlier cautioned of increasing water evaporation in Angat Dam due to the drought-related El Niño phenomenon.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration earlier reported that water level of Angat Dam has dipped to 195.30 meters as of Saturday.

The level was 7.03 meters above the rule curve for the day, or desired water level to satisfy Angat’s purpose which is to provide water for drinking, irrigation, and power generation.

Angat Dam, located in Bulacan, is the main source of water of Metro Manila. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)