No brownouts on Sunday, Mindanao boxing fans assured

No brownouts on Sunday, Mindanao boxing fans assured
Floyd Mayweather (centre, left) and Manny Pacquiao (centre, right) facing off following their weigh-in on May 1, 2015, in Las Vegas one day before their "Fight of the Century" on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines-There will be no brownouts in Mindanao on Sunday, May 3, to allow the public uninterrupted viewing of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said.

"There will be no scheduled power interruption so that the people of Mindanao will be able to witness the fight of the century," Eugene Vicar, NGCP head for Mindanao Systems Operations, told the Inquirer by phone on Thursday.

Vicar said representatives from NGCP, the National Power Corp. (Napocor), electric cooperatives, independent power producers (IPPs) and technical experts met in Davao City on Thursday for a "tabletop" simulation activity and workshop, "to draw-out strategies and mitigation measures in case of emergency that would affect the generation facilities and transmission lines in Mindanao."

Lawyer Romer Pacilan, Napocor spokesperson for Mindanao, said the state-run power firm has not scheduled preventive maintenance at the hydropower plants in Agus in Lanao and Pulangi in Bukidnon on the day of the fight, and that IPPs have made a similar pledge to allow continuous power on May 3.

In recent weeks, the NGCP has described the power situation in Mindanao as worsening, with decreasing water levels at the hydropower plants in Lanao and Bukidnon because of the dry spell since early this year.

Adding to the problem are technical glitches that resulted in an island-wide power outage on April 5, and the maintenance of power lines especially in Lanao areas, where landowners "deliberately plant trees or construct structures under power lines that pass through their landholdings," according to NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza, who added that the company has been trying to resolve the right-of-way issue proactively.

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