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NGCP, Meralco ready for papal visit

/ 05:48 AM January 15, 2015
AFP FILE PHOTO

AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Grid operator and transmission service provider National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and Metro Manila’s distribution utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) assured they have quick-response teams ready for any outages or service disruptions during the visit of Pope Francis from Jan. 15 to 19.

Pope Francis is expected to arrive in Manila from Sri Lanka in the afternoon of Jan. 15.

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NGCP said it would activate its Overall Disaster Command Center on Jan. 15 for nationwide monitoring and would be up and running until Jan. 19. This is part of efforts to secure transmission operations and facilities during the state and pastoral visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines, NGCP said in a statement.

The center will monitor the status of power transmission, restoration activities, and gather reports and updates from the Regional Command Centers in North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“Plans are in place to monitor and quickly address any grid disturbance or major line trippings,” NGCP said.

‘Officers of the day’

NGCP said that since Jan. 15 to 19 have been declared special nonworking days in the National Capital Region, it has assigned key personnel or so-called “officers of the day” for its crucial units such as system operations and operation and maintenance.

“Line crews, pilots, maintenance and testing, telecommunications, and supervisory control and data acquisition personnel are also on call for any emergencies,” NGCP said. NGCP is a privately owned corporation led by taipan Henry Sy, Jr.

Meanwhile, Meralco’s public information office head Joe Zaldarriaga said via text message that the distribution utility had prepared contingency measures for its franchise area as early as December.

“Meralco conducted assessment and inspection to ensure that its facilities are in good condition. Also, crews and trucks are on standby in strategic places for any eventuality. To avoid accidents, Meralco reminds its customers to avoid contact of flying objects such as balloons and confetti with electrical facilities,” Zaldarriaga said.

Meralco is a private distribution utility led by Manuel V. Pangilinan. Its franchise area to date covers Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal, as well as certain areas in Batangas, Laguna, Pampanga and Quezon.

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TAGS: electricity, Meralco, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), papal visit, Pope Francis, power supply
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