The 6.5-magnitude tremor that jolted parts of Visayas on Thursday afternoon left Bohol scrambling for solutions to the province-wide outage amid uncertainty on the damages to the province’s main power source in Leyte which was near the quake’s epicenter.
Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG) members early on Friday convened to come up with immediate measures to address the province’s power needs including the utilization of the Bohol Diesel Power Plant (BDPP) to supply electricity particularly in Tagbilaran CIty.
According to Provincial Board Member Abeleon Damalerio, the Sangguniang Panalalawigan (SP) has appealed to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to extend provisional authority to BDPP owner Salcon Power Corporation.
“This was the request relayed to the ERC which included a letter from the Bohol Light Company Inc. It appealed for provisional authority to Salcon for its power plant to operate and supply electricity to BLCI and its franchise area, including BOHECO 1,” said Damalerio.
No specific timeline on the measure’s implementation has been disclosed, but Damalerio noted that the SP requested to have the appeal expedited given Bohol’s power situation.
Meanwhile, the BEDAG has also proposed to tap the power barge of Trans-Asia Power Inc. in Mactan to also provide supplemental electricity to the province.
An SP resolution asking the ERC to allow the province to harness energy from the said power barge was also passed during the provincial legislative body’s session this morning, said Damalerio.
“Hopefully these will all be addressed and be received immediately by the ERC. It’s Friday, but hopefully we can get emergency power to address our situation due to the earthquake,” he added.
The BEDAG led by acting Provincial Administrator John Mitchell Boiser is set to reconvene this afternoon at the People’s Mansion in Tagbilaran City.
Boiser took the place of Gov. Edgar Chatto who is in Canada to attend the CONBUSAC’s (Confederation of Boholanos in USA and Canada) 17th biennial convention in Toronto.
While in Leyte, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is still assessing the extent of the damages to their transmission systems.
According to NGCP Visayas spokesperson Betty Martinez, the firm’s personnel conducted aerial and foot patrols to evaluate their facilities this morning.
Meanwhile, the Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant was reportedly damaged by the strong tremor which hit several parts of Visayas at 4:03 p.m. Thursday and centered eight kilometers southwest of Jaro town in Leyte.
The province of Bohol remains largely dependent on the said power source which transmits electricity through a submarine cable from Maasin City to President Carlos P. Garcia town. (Rey Tutas)