DURING VACCINE ROLLOUT: DUs told to ensure stable power supply

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    The Department of Energy (DOE) has directed all distribution utilities (DUs) to ensure reliable and stable power supply during the rollout of the government’s new coronavirus vaccine program.

    In an advisory, the DOE asked DUs to update their emergency response protocols and business continuity plans to be responsive to the prioritization of the vaccines’ cold storage facilities in case of power outage.

    “We have to make sure that there is a continuous supply of electricity services. The DOE has been strategizing on how to pre-empt possible issues and concerns that may arise during the rollout,” Alfonso Cusi, DOE secretary, said in a statement.

    Under the document dated February 16, he also asked DUs to come up with back-up generating sets and/or distribution system configuration as well as to have enough contracted capacities for energy in case of a possible increase in demand.

    Likewise, companies were reminded to intensify vegetation management programs to eliminate power interruptions.

    The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) earlier said it was coordinating with various local government units (LGUs) to assure them of continuous power supply in cold storages in time for the vaccine rollout.

    Joe Zaldarriaga, the company’s spokesman, recently said Meralco is ready to respond in case of unforeseen situations.

    “Our commitment is to coordinate with both the government and the private sector to assure that storage of these vaccines will not be compromised of their efficacy and safety,” he explained.

    Rep. Sergio Dagooc of the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives party-list also suggested using gymnasiums and multi-purpose halls of the 121 electric cooperatives across the country as vaccination sites.