By Genalyn Kabiling
The government will soon launch an intensified public information campaign promoting energy conservation and efficiency amid the recent power interruptions in Luzon.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) will work together with the Department of Energy to craft a program on ways to save and conserve energy, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
“Napag-usapan din sa Cabinet meeting iyong energy conservation campaign. So ang DOE at ang PCOO, tayo, ay magkakaroon tayo ng isang programa. magmi-meeting pa tayo with the Department of Energy kung papaano natin ikasa itong… how to conserve energy [The energy conservation campaign was tackled in the recent Cabinet meeting. The DOE and PCOO will have a program, we will meet with the Department of Energy on the program on how to conserve energy],” he said over government radio recently.
“Kasi kailangan din nating magtipid ng kuryente, hindi naman ‘yan isang bagay na naibabalik mo, lalo na kung hindi reusable, ‘di ba, iyong pinanggagalingan ng kuryente [Because we really need to save energy. It’s not a resource that you can give back especially if the source is not reusable],” he said.
Andanar also pushed for the development of alternative sources of energy, especially clean and renewable power, in the country.
“Hindi naman lahat naka-solar power, hindi naman lahat naka-windmill, hindi ba. So kailangan talaga iyong—siguro in the future ‘no, magkaroon tayo ng energy sources na less pollution at iyong puwedeng gamitin ulit [Not everyone uses solar power, windmill so in the future, we must have energy sources that emit less pollution and are renewable],” he said.
In the same radio interview, Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor Delola urged Filipinos to adopt an “energy-efficient” lifestyle.
He said the public should make it a practice to unplug appliances when not in use and set air conditioning units at 24 degrees Celsius.
He also urged people to avoid using high power-consuming appliances on peak hours, or between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in Luzon. Getting energy-efficient appliances would also help save energy, he added.
“Iyong mga luma na nating mga gamit sa bahay, kung pag-aaralan natin, kung palitan natin siya ng mas efficient na mga appliances and equipment, baka mas makatipid pa tayo in the long run [If we can replace our old equipment at home with energy-efficient appliances and equipment, we can save more in the long run],” he said.
The government’s latest pitch for energy conservation came after rotational power blackouts hit the Luzon grid due to unexpected outages in some power plants last week.
The Department of Energy has asked the concerned power plant operators to explain their unscheduled plant shutdowns. The department intends to investigate and hold accountable parties if found engaged in irregularities, according to Delola.
“If we have to make people or companies accountable, we will do so,” he said.
He assured the public that the power situation will start to return to normal on Sunday. He said there will be no more power outages “hopefully” this week.