By Myrna M. Velasco
In line with the ongoing ‘lockdown’ enforced in the country’s main metropolis, the Department of Energy (DOE) has directed Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to defer its maintenance activities scheduled for Metro Manila until April 14.
The department noted that “if after a thorough evaluation, there is a still a need to perform maintenance activities for safety reasons, an announcement for the scheduled maintenance will jointly be made by DOE and Meralco.”
In a statement to the media, Meralco assured that it will be serving its customers with uninterrupted power supply “on the duration of the 30-day community quarantine,” a process that started on March 15 as part of the country’s measure to stifle the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The company said it has “taken all precautions to preserve the safety and health of its employees while also sustaining its continuous operations in the franchise area.”
Relating to the directed postponement of its maintenance activities, Meralco emphasized that it will only work on those that are considered “critically loaded areas,” as approved by the energy department.
“During these challenging times, Meralco will continue working with the energy sector so as to ensure that electric power services remain uninterrupted,” Meralco senior vice president and head of networks Engineer Ronnie L. Aperocho said.
He emphasized that the company is enforcing its business continuity plan and emergency measures “to distribute power round-the-clock, especially to crucial installations such as hospitals.”
And for its strategy to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) , the utility firm will be stepping up its “online services” so customers can still get updates and be able to do their transactions.
“We are one with the power sector in our total compliance with the directives of the DOH (Department of Health) in order to arrest the COVID-19 situation,” the power firm said.
On a larger scale, the DOE indicated that it has also been working with industry stakeholders “to ensure sufficient and uninterrupted power supply” during the lockdown period.
Parallel to that, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said it must also be assured that “power sector personnel are compliant with the directives of the DOH in order to arrest the COVID-19 situation.”