“15 Brownouts in 3 days: GUIMELCO’S Response.” It’s a post I hope to complete before our next power outage in Guimaras occurs. As I feverishly attack the keyboard, somewhat under my high school typing speed of 51 wpm, I glance outside. More threatening storm clouds hover in the distance.
Will I be able to post a response I received from our local power company’s top management in time? I’ll try. Here’s the reply I received on the GUIMELCO.
We apologize for the delayed reply. The following is the official statement from the our top management:
GUIMELCO Official Statement
[“We thank you for sending us your comment on the issue about unscheduled brownouts in the Province of Guimaras.
On the article in The Daily Guardian which states that the gecko, (tuko) is causing all our brownouts, we would like to point out that there are several causes of brownouts and the gecko is just one of them. Maybe it was just highlighted because many do not believe that a gecko can actually cause power interruptions/brownouts.
For your reference we have attached a Summary of Power Interruptions.
Certain measures have already been undertaken such as installation of PVC pipes to minimize/prevent the occurrence of brownouts caused by gecko. Clearing activities are also ongoing for medium to heavy vegetation along our distribution lines but sometimes we do encounter problems when the owners of the trees that are supposed to be cut or trimmed would not allow our clearing crew.
Last June 18, 2016 and June 25, 2016 we had this “Bayanihan Activity” where our employees performed the installation of PVC pipes in our distribution system and clearing of lines without overtime pay or salary on those particular days. We only provided a meager meal allowance for them.
We understand the predicaments of our member-consumers because that is why we at GUIMELCO are exhausting possible means to address power interruptions because aside from being employees of GUIMELCO we are also member-consumers who experience the inconvenience that power interruptions bring.
Once again thank you for bringing the above mentioned concern to our attention.”]
We also send a document through email that contains the brownout causes. Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience. Rest assured, GUIMELCO is doing everything to make the power service stable. If you have other concern, please call us at 581-2919. Thank you.
GUIMELCO Web Admin
(Photo Source: GUIMELCO website)
I replied on the utility’s website :
“Thank you for the information. Since I wrote that comment two days ago we’ve had more than 12 brownouts in our section of Sibunag, Guimaras. Our last outage lasted started at 1 am this Saturday morning and ended around 7:45 am.
While I appreciate the document that was sent, it does not cover the reasons for all of the brownouts we have had the past few days.
But I respectfully thank you for your detailed reply and would pray that the power situation in Guimaras will improve. I will note your response in a future post on my website.”
In my reply, I also mentioned we were exploring the possibilities of an alternative energy source such as solar power.
Again, I, do, however, sincerely appreciate the utility’s efforts to appease a frustrated American expat in the Philippines.
However, if I may borrow from the late Rod Serling:
“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call… the GUIMELCO Zone.”
I would not be quite as upset as I was the other day if we would have only experienced the power outages in Guimaras that are shown below.
The chart given to me by GUIMELCO management began in April, 2016. I will only publish the results from between July 4th and the early morning of July 8th.
Again, during that time, we experienced at least 15 brownouts in our part of Guimaras, some lasting up to six hours.
The information provided to me only shows six power outages for the whole of Guimaras for the above mentioned time frame.
None of the above power outages were attributed to geckos.
We did receive some heavy rains and a few thunderstorms but no damaging winds in our particular area. That said, whenever we have any rain, we rush to grab our flashlights and our solar light bulb. We know by experience that a brownout is impending.
I made three calls to the GUIMELCO hotline. In one of the calls I was informed that work crews in our part of the island were having difficulty in restoring our power. I advised the utility employee that perhaps they should employee some workers who knew what they were doing.
We saw work crews out at 6:30 am this past Friday as we headed to Jordan Wharf to catch a pump boat to Iloilo. Upon our return later that day, we already had three power outages and still were without electricity.
We’re hopeful to hear from our new solar power contact in Iloilo soon. We’re off to Metro Manila in a few days, however, and probably will have to wait to hear if solar energy will be feasible for us.
We’ve actually enjoyed a whole morning thus far, this Sunday, without any brownouts. Hopefully that trend will continue.