THE POWER ARM of Gotianun-led Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) maintained its operations to supply electricity in Mindanao while the country is placed under a state of public health emergency due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

FDC Utilities, Inc. (FDCUI) on Thursday said it has implemented its contingency measures to continue its operations, assuring a steady supply of electricity in its service areas.

“Having access to stable power is crucial for our front liners to help curb the impact and further prevent the spread of the dreaded coronavirus,” FDCUI President and Chief Executive Officer Juan Eugenio L. Roxas said in a statement.

Considering its skeletal workforce, Mr. Roxas said they have “arranged for accommodations for reporting employees and contracted personnel in our power plant facility.”

“Food and other provisions are in stock and available for those reporting to work for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine,” he added.

The power firm reported that its unit FDC Misamis Power Corp, which runs a 405-megawatt (MW) thermal plant in Northern Mindanao, has released its remaining Energy Regulation 1-94 (ER 1-94) funds to provide financial assistance to its host communities providing health services.

Said funds are centavo per kilowatt-hour share of power companies to communities where they operate.

Meanwhile, in a Laging Handa press briefing by the Philippine Communications Operations Office, both the government and the private sector said power supply in Luzon remained sufficient amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Both the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) have maintained their operations to provide uninterrupted power services to consumers across the island.

NGCP Spokesperson Cynthia P. Alabanza noted around 20-30% power demand drop equal to a 3,000 MW decline from the forecast 12,285 MW electricity peak demand in Luzon in May.

Meralco, which suspended its meter reading and bills delivery during the ECQ, said that its customers would only pay their average electricity consumption from January to March in the next billing cycle.

Pagkatapos ng naturang quarantine period, once we have a normal situation, ano man ‘yung kulang o sobra sa aktwal na konsumo ay ia-adjust sa susunod na billing cycle. So, pagkatapos ng lahat ng adjustments, ang inyong tamang nakonsumo lang ang babayaran,” Meralco Spokesperson Joe R. Zaldarriaga said.

(Once we have a normal situation after the quarantine period, the lack and excess in energy consumption will be adjusted in the succeeding billing cycle. After all the adjustments were made, customers would have to pay for what they have only consumed.) — Adam J. Ang