by Fernan A. Gianan
Informed by FICELCO General Manager Raul Zafe regarding the National Power Corporation’s letter regarding its supposed departure from Catanduanes this April 2020, Congressman Hector Sanchez immediately paid a visit on NPC president Pio Benavidez Jr. to clarify the matter.
In a dialogue with the local media last Saturday, the congressman assured that NPC and its power plants will stay on the island as the power supplier of last resort.
Sanchez said the power firm is presently proceeding with the installation of the second phase of its 69-kV transmission line project, including its substations.
“it is vital that NPC complete this project to ensure flexibility in the Catanduanes grid as part of the province’s master plan,” the solon stated. “Hindi aasenso ang probinsiya if power supply is not assured.”
He said an analysis would show that the peak load on the island stands at 12.5 megawatts while SUWECO has a standby power of 19.2 mW, far in excess of that required.
“This is a band-aid solution that needs to be resolved,” Cong. Sanchez declared, adding that it is renewable energy such as solar and wind power which needs to be pursued since a lot of private entities are interested in putting up RE facilities on the island.
He also reminded that FICELCO is susceptible to privatization in case it can no longer manage the power situation here. “Nakatutok po ako diyan, I am monitoring the situation at the cooperative every now and then,” he said.
Sanchez expressed hopes that the NPC submarine cable would be approved soon as a long-term solution to the power issue. He said he would ensure that its design would include a spare cable that would allow replacement or carry excess power from the island for sale to the mainland.
The neophyte congressman, who has spent much of his time attending sessions and committee hearings, sought the understanding of the commuting public with the closure of the Luyang highway section as the cave park road is being widened.
He said he has instructed DPWH district engineer Gil Balmadrid to ensure the safety of the national highway, including the installation of covers on drainage canals, safety signs, In-Road Lights (IRL) and guardrails along steep embankments.
Sanchez disclosed that he would initiate the conversion of some Multi-Purpose Buildings into evacuation centers complete with comfort rooms and kitchens.
On the current drive to have constitutional reforms approved before 2022, Rep. Sanchez said congressmen are solidly behind it especially since it would redound to the good of the people.
THE SHAMEFUL PROBLEM. An old woman came into her doctor’s office and confessed to an embarrassing problem. “I fart all the time, Doctor Johnson,” she said. “But they’re soundless, and they have no odor. In fact, since I’ve been here, I’ve farted no less than twenty times. What can I do?
“Here’s a prescription, Mrs. McConville. Take these pills three times a day for seven days and come back and see me in a week.”
Next week, an upset Mrs. McConville marched into Dr. Johnson’s office. “Doctor, I don’t know what was in those pills, but the problem is worse! I’m farting just as much, but now they smell terrible! What do you have to say for yourself?”
“Calm down, Mrs. Harris,” said the doctor soothingly.
“Now that we’ve fixed your sinuses, we’ll work on your hearing!!!”