By Ellson Quismorio
Metro Manila residents may not know it, but the power situation in the countryside is anything but rosy.
According to 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy (1-CARE) Party-List Rep. Carlos Uybarreta, provincial folk have long been grappling with rotating brownouts or power outages.
“Unknown to most people here in Metro Manila, rotating brownouts are common in some provinces because the power distributors there have long been unable to meet growing demand for electricity because of the growth of their local population and economy,” said Uybarreta, a vice chairman of the House Committee on Energy.
The lawmaker also noted that there are provinces where the need for electricity “has been acute for some years now.”
Uybarreta said he expects demand spikes during the Holy Week and around Election Day because of the surge of people going to their hometowns at those times.
“More people and the concentration of many people in specific areas mean higher demand for electricity, as well as for water. These temporary demand surges can test power supplies in the countryside,” the solon pointed out.
In this regard, Uybarreta said the Department of Energy (DOE) has been properly addressing the matter.
“The Department of Energy is right in opening up the power generation markets to more players so that unmet demand is addressed,” he said.
As far as the country’s power utilities are concerned, Uybarreta said they must prepare for the increase in demand for electricity this scorching summer, which is being worsened by the prevailing weak El Niño.