Iloilo City urges NGCP to postpone transmission line shutdown to spare COVID-19 vaccines

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 24 2021 07:14 PM

MANILA— The local government of Iloilo City on Tuesday requested the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to postpone the scheduled 12-hour shutdown of the Sta. Barbara-Ingore transmission line on Saturday, as the power outage may affect facilities that store thousands of COVID-19 vaccine shots.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said he was informed by MORE Electric and Power Corporation of the shutdown of NGCP’s 69 kilovolt (kV) Sta. Barbara-Ingore Transmission Line on Saturday.

“We would like to inform you that we have facilities connected to MORE Power’s Mandurriao Substation which serves as storage for vaccines,” Treñas said in a letter sent to Lazaruz De la Cruz Jr., manager for District 4 of the NGCP’s Visayas Operations and Maintenance on Tuesday.

The 12-hour shutdown, set from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., aims to replace wooden poles with steel on the said transmission line which will affect MORE Power’s three substations, including Mandurriao’s.

“A 12-hour power outage may affect the thousands of vaccines stored in these facilities and the thousands more that are coming usually during in the weekend. We simply cannot allow this to happen,” said Treñas.

The mayor said they already requested MORE Power to secure the supply of electricity for the affected facilities until they get back-up generators.

“I am therefore requesting you and the management of NGCP to postpone the scheduled pole replacement project to a time when MORE will be able to provide an alternative substation and feeder for the continuous supply of power to our storage facility in Mandurriao or when the provision of a generator for the facility is met,” he said.

As of August 20, 27.18 percent out of the 525,000 total target population in the city have already received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccines. A total of 252,450 have received their first dose and 142,683 already got complete doses.

In an earlier interview, Treñas said they received information that 11 additional Delta variant patients were recorded in the city. This brings to 16 the total number of Delta cases in the city.

The local government is also requesting the Department of Public Works and Highways for the construction of three modular field hospitals in the city.