The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has ordered all electric cooperatives (ECs) to ensure continuous supply of electricity to their consumers, as Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat.

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong on Tuesday issued a memorandum directing the 121 ECs nationwide to activate their respective Vulnerability and Risk Assessment and Emergency Restoration Plans for Crisis Management. 

“The EC management may consider assignment of a skeletal workforce, work from home.”

Under this protocol, the EC Management and Board of Directors are instructed to implement strategies to maintain their operations and support infrastructure while keeping their employees and workers safe.

Masongsong also advised all community-owned power distribution utilities to put in place their respective Business Continuity Plans to ensure their sustainability and viability, considering the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Possible or assumed scenarios should be considered, including delayed payments by the consumers, prioritization of the payment of obligations, the impact to the rate due to reduction of power consumption yet continued genco [generation company] charges like Capital Recovery Fee (CRF) and other operating costs,” he said. 

Masongsong underscored that power services to critical loads such as hospitals and medical facilities, government offices, basic utility service providers, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Philippine National Police and Armed Forced of the Philippines offices should remain undisrupted.

Electric coops in Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) areas, on the other hand, are tasked to closely coordinate with their power suppliers in the off-grid distribution system to ensure continuous fuel supply.

The NEA also urged the ECs, particularly those operating in areas placed under enhanced community quarantine, to adopt “flexible work arrangements” to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 while strictly observing social distancing and other health precautionary measures.

“The EC management may consider assignment of a skeletal workforce, work from home, compressed work week, staggered working hours and other alternative work arrangements that shall be implemented so as not to prejudice the delivery of electric services,” Masongsong said. 

Power coops are also told to immediately inform the NEA as well as their local government and public health authorities in case they have employees who were identified as either persons under monitoring/investigation and those who tested as COVID-19 positive. 

“It is imperative that the EC management identify essential functions pertaining to the EC core services.”

To help the national government effort contain the spread of the coronavirus, all EC officials and employees are likewise directed to ‘curtail non-essential travel, cancel in-person meetings or do these via teleconferencing, whenever possible.’

“It is imperative that the EC management identify essential functions pertaining to the EC core services and the corresponding workers needed, specifically the Line Operations Units, which shall continue to perform their functions to ensure the uninterrupted operation of the distribution system,” Masongsong further stated in his memo. 

The NEA chief also activated the agency’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department’s (DRRMD) Command Center in Quezon City, staffed by engineers. They will be closely monitoring the power situation in all coverage areas of the ECs in the country. 


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