Over 27,000 households in Batangas have no power

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THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) said Monday that 57 barangays with 27,179 households under the franchise of Batangas II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Batelec II) are without power due to ashfall from Taal Volcano.

In a statement, NEA said the affected villages are spread over the municipalities of Laurel, Talisay, and Tanauan City.

“Roads leading to those areas are already closed due to ashfalls,” Batelec II General Manager Octavious Mendoza told the NEA’s disaster risk reduction and management office in a message sent early on Monday.

The power situation in the towns of Balete and Malvar is normal, according to the electric cooperative.

“We will wait for the situation to improve before we do our ocular inspections to assess the extent of damage brought by this eruption,” Mr. Mendoza said.

Batelec I also reported that the municipalities of San Nicolas and Agoncillo were on forced shutdown as of 9 a.m. on Monday due to the volcanic activity. NEA said it was closely monitoring the accumulation of ashfall over its power distribution facilities along the Lemery-Taal-San Luis area.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DoE) said the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) had normalized the delivery of electricity services to its customers. It also said that no power plants went on forced outage in the Luzon grid due to the eruption.

The DoE said Manila Electric Co. and the two Batangas electric cooperatives were “working to restore the electricity services to areas surrounding the Taal Lake.”

“An estimate of 150,000 customers are affected with power interruptions which will continue to go down as a result of the Taal Volcano eruption. This number will continue to go down as the linemen and the other field personnel continue to clean and restore the electricity services,” the department said.

The DoE said a state of calamity had been raised in the province of Batangas, which entails a price freeze for household liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene products in the area, which will be in effect for 15 days. — Victor V. Saulon