Given heightened threats posed by the phreatomagmatic eruption of the Taal volcano, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has instructed the electric cooperatives (ECs), especially those in Region IV-A, to step up on their emergency preparedness and contingency measures, in case the situation would intensify.

To recall, when the Taal volcano had its bout of explosion last year, consumers close to the area had to suffer from electricity service interruptions.

And with the repeat of such incident this year, the government-run electrification agency would want to make sure that the impact on the public could at least be eased this time, if it cannot be totally avoided.

In a statement to the media, NEA noted that its Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department already issued an advisory on Thursday (July 1), “calling on all Luzon ECs to take the appropriate contingency measures to mitigate the possible impact on their power distribution systems.”

The agency said part of the power utilities’ preparations would be “activation of their emergency response organization (ERO) when the need arises to implement without delay their appropriate emergency response plans.”

NEA similarly directed the ECs to closely keep an eye on Taal volcano’s flare-ups, so they can also align the enforcement of their contingency plans — and part of their monitoring activity is to keep track of the bulletins regularly issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

As Phivolcs raised the alert status at Taal volcano to level 3, NEA conveyed that “there is magmatic intrusion at the main crater that may further drive succeeding eruptions.”

Apart from ensuring electricity service provision to consumers, the power utilities will also need to guarantee the safe operation of their facilities, in case cataclysmic volcanic eruption will happen.

The facilities of the power utilities will need to be secured in times of disasters – because these can also pose hazard to the public if they are not properly handled in cases of natural calamities like a volcanic eruption or flooding, similar to what happened in last year’s strike of super typhoons.

And after the passing of each disaster, power facilities also come in as a ‘service backbone’ to consumers when they will have to recover from the ominous impact of a catastrophic disruption.

Source: Manila Bulletin (