What are your thoughts on the blackouts in Iloilo City?

May 22, 2012 by

This is quite old news but a significant one, nevertheless. There was a time about a few weeks ago when blackouts struck the booming city of Iloilo sa kasagsagan ng summer when everybody intends to stay inside the mall to keep themselves cool. I was handling Sikat Academy summer workshop at Robinsons Place Iloilo during that time and had to cut my sessions short because the kids looked like dying cacti in the oven-hot room we were in. It was horrendous. And we were helpless. Our lives were pretty much dependent on the hands of the people who have access to the electric main switch.

I have read on the paper a couple of days ago some intensive report on what caused the series of blackouts. The report written by Nestor Burgos, Jr offered an enlightening (but not necessarily acceptable) explanation of the electricity breakdown. The electric distributor of Iloilo City is the Panay Electric Company, otherwise known as PECO. This distributor has a franchise license and is expected to expire on 2019. However, the mayor of Iloilo City is asking for a franchise review from the congress due to the mounting dissatisfaction among the consumers. The mayor intends to open the franchise to more competent companies in case the congress sees the discrepancy in PECO’s services. While PECO explains the recent series of blackouts in a technical manner, it does not ease the anger of the people, especially the business enterprise who have lost millions of pesos due to the halting of their operations (in more ways than one).

My thoughts:

1. In this age of mind-blowing technology and our claims to be abreast with the world, why can’t this multi-bazillion electric company come up with a plan for back-ups in case something goes wrong with their centuries-old equipment? Can’t they at least anticipate these sorts of technical failures?

2. We are not lacking power as much as we did before the existence of the coal-fired power plant. We have enough (at least that’s what they say). It’s the distribution that’s the problem. And we don’t have a way of finding out if these people behind the main switch are telling the truth or what their politics are.

3. The city government should be more stern in fixing this problem if they are really concerned about the city. Haven’t they been to Japan? These Government officials? Haven’t they noticed what sort of back up plans, plan B, alternatives, substitutes, replacements and all sorts of PLANS the Japanese always observe so that everything continues to be in place? It’s almost always common sense.

4. Whenever a blackout occurs in the city, everyone who has generator sets or 3G or pocket wifi goes online to post a status on how they hate the brownout and how they hate PECO. I say the online bashing doesn’t really go anywhere does it? Write a letter to the mayor or nag a councilor friend and pray it works.

5. Is there someone impeachable because of these mayhem? It seems impeachment is the trend these days.

Tell me your own thoughts please.

1 Comment

  1. beth

    If it’s Congress that decides on PECO’s franchise then it should be Cong. Jerry Trenas we should swamp with our complaints. HE is supposed to be our voice in Congress!

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