Malampaya shutdown won't lead to vaccine spoilage, says Roque

Published August 23, 2021, 1:54 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has quelled concerns of possible coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine spoilage during the scheduled 20-day maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya deep-water gas facility this October.

Vials of COVID-19 vaccines. (Keith Bacongco/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Speaking in a virtual press briefing Monday, August 23, Roque noted that the shutdown will not be taking place during the country’s peak season as far as demand for electricity is concerned.

Malampaya, which generates power for five power plants in Luzon, will be offline from October 2 to 22.

“Hindi na po talaga masyadong peak ang demand for electricity dahil ang peak talaga ay tag-init, gumagamit talaga tayo ng air-conditioning at bentillador (It’s no longer the peak for the demand of electricity because the peak is summer, when we really used air-conditioning and electric fans),” Roque said.

“So inaasahan po natin na hindi naman po maaapektuhan ang ating supply ng kuryente at dahil dito hindi rin maaapektuhan ang ating bakunahan (We expect that our supply of electricity won’t be affected, and because of this our vaccination won’t be affected either),” the Palace official said.

The Luzon grid underwent bouts of yellow and red alert this past summer when power reserves plummeted.

COVID-19 vaccines are widely-known to be sensitive. They need to be kept at certain low temperatures, or else these will spoil.

Malacañang has repeatedly underscored how difficult it is to procure the life-saving jabs both due to global demand and the scarcity of funds.

Roque also reiterated the assurance given by Department of Energy (DOE) Spokesperson Felix William Fuentebella that the country has prepared for the 20-day closure of Malampaya.