Luzon hit by 4-hour blackout 5 days before elections

Most parts of Luzon including some franchised areas of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) were hit by a power blackout (brownout) after five power plants tripped, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said.

A total of 3,700 megawatts (MW) was offline due to incident causing power outages in Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bicol Region, Quezon City, Parañaque, Pasig and other parts of Metro Manila.

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Meralco for its part tweeted, “As additional power is received by our distribution system from the generation and transmission companies, we will be able to bring back power to areas still affected by the outage. Hopefully, power to affected customers will have been back by midnight.”

The Department of Energy is allaying fears of sabotage because of the timing of the outage, which is 5 days before the May 13 elections. Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said there will be no power interruptions on May 13.

The upcoming elections require electricity for the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to transmit results from the precincts to the central processing offices of Comelec.