On June 22, 2017 Marinduque Electric Cooperative (Marelco) published its official statement regarding the intermittent power interruption particularly at Feeder I (Bantad to Torrijos Area) through their official Facebook Page.
The statement read as “Marelco duly understands the behavior and sentiments of our member-consumers everytime there is a power interruption in their respective areas.
It is for this reason that, we would like to present our official statement regarding the intermittent power outages experienced in some areas, so that once and for all every member-consumer would realize why such things happened and the initiatives we are doing to totally eliminate such sad circumstances.
The thrust of Marelco is to provide total quality service to each and every electric consumer. This thrust is based on the over-all objective of the government as mandated particularly to the Department of Energy, National Electrification Administration and the Energy Regulatory Commission. Hence, various parameters and standards were established consistent with the Epira Law, Philippine Grid Code (PGC) and Philippine Distribution Code (PDC) and other relevant laws and standards including environmental, health and safety standards, to be observed by electric utilities to ensure efficient delivery of electric service. And Marelco, being a distribution utility is duty -bound to comply with said standards.
As of May 31, 2017, the Marelco’s System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) is 21.40 interruption per consumer per year as compared to the standard of 30 interruptions per consumer per year. On the other hand, the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) is 1,741.21 minutes per year as compared to the standard of 3,375 minutes per year.
The above data shows that Marelco is still within the standard level set forth by the government.
However, considering our commitment to provide quality service, we are still obliged and committed to work harder to reduce if not totally eliminate said power interruptions in our coverage area. Thus, several activities are continuously undertaken to resolve the problem.
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The Marelco’s distribution lines were erected and installed 40 years ago, and have suffered a lot from deterioration and wear and tear. To ensure the safety and efficiency of our distribution system, continuous maintenance activities are performed to warrant a reliable power supply. However, to be able to conduct maintenance activities power interruptions are inevitable, because replacement of at least one (1) dilapidated pole, a defective transformer, a busted fuse cut out or a broken insulator would mean one (1) power interruption in a specific area.
Also, large part of the 1,641.55 circuit kms of distribution lines in the whole coverage area traverse along and under thick vegetation. Activities related to right of way clearing and/or cutting of branches of trees mean another power interruption in a particular location. However, we ensure that scheduled power interruptions are properly disseminated and all consumers that would be affected are duly informed.
For unscheduled power interruptions, our distribution system is bare or uninsulated, thus prone to physical contact with neighboring objects such as over grown vegetation, foreign objects like birds, bats and other animals, and man-made causes such as construction and vehicular accidents. One physical contact means one power outage. Restoration of power takes more than an hour because fault will still have to be detected and addressed.
Sometimes the unscheduled interruption is caused by the unexpected breakdown of NPC Generating Sets. If this is the case, prompt power restoration is effected as they have stand by Gen Sets.
On the other hand, Marelco is an organization which governance structure was clearly insulated from local politics (section 12 of RA 10531). It has Board of Directors which act as collegial body composed of representatives from each district and promulgates rules and policies for the effective and viable operation of the coop. It is managed by a general manager who oversees and supervises its day to day operations. Therefore, the occurrence of power interruptions is not in any way a responsibility of local politicians/officials.
Although Marelco’s birth and conception was due to the effort and initiatives of then Con-Con Delegate Hon. Carmencita O. Reyes (now our Provincial Governor) and her late husband Hon. Edmundo Reyes…Although most of our expansion projects were funded by the government…Although oftentimes we always seek the support of our present local officials whenever we have problems for which we are very grateful and thankful…They are our representative in the congress, the provincial government, sangguniang panlalawigan and the six municipalities…They are not to be blamed why we are experiencing power outages. In fact they have explicitly offered their willingness to help the Coop combat the issue.
We therefore say that the Marelco officers, management and staff take the full responsibility over the frequent power interruptions experienced by the member-consumers particularly in the towns of Mogpog, Sta. Cruz and Torrijos, because the delivery of electric service is our obligation and mandate.
To address the problem, we are at present working double time, so that we could provide a reliable and efficient electric service to all our customers.”