Philippine economy

Private engineers to help with DOE audit for free
Private engineers to help with DOE audit for free
'We have to find a lasting solution to this recurring problem [of blackouts],' says Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi as his department signs an agreement with electrical engineers

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) has officially tapped private engineers to help in the audit of power plants in the country. The engineers will provide their services for free.

Last Monday, August 8, the DOE signed a memorandum of agreement with the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines (IIEE) for the “technical audit of generation, transmission, and distribution facilities.”

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi ordered the audit, as well as an investigation into power utilities’ possible violations, following the recent series of power outages that hit Luzon.

The power outages were the result of thinning or zero reserves in the Luzon grid, which stemmed from maintenance shutdowns and forced outages of several power plants.

“It is imperative for us to immediately determine the causes, whether technical or contractual, of the current power situation,” Cusi said in a statement released Wednesday, August 10.

“We have to find a lasting solution to this recurring problem… because it is our people who are bearing the brunt of power interruptions and we cannot allow that to continue,” he added.

The DOE said that the IIEE, which will help conduct the audit on a pro bono basis, “has 47,000 licensed and competent electrical engineers and master electricians across the country.”

The DOE and the IIEE have agreed to form task forces that would “look into current mechanisms aimed at ensuring the safety, efficiency, quality, reliability, and security of the power system.”

They also aim to pinpoint “flaws in the generation-transmission-distribution chain that cause deficiencies” in the country’s power supply.

The Senate energy committee earlier announced it will look into the simultaneous blackouts in Luzon and whether there was price rigging by industry players. –

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