THE Department of Energy (DoE) may have to cut electricity in areas within the 14-kilometer danger zone to prevent people from returning to their houses amid Taal Volcano’s unrest, its official said on Friday.

1 DOE - Power supply may be cut within 14-km danger zone
Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella. PHOTO BY BOB DUNGO JR.

In a news briefing, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said the country’s energy sector would comply with standard operating procedures once the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council declares a lockdown in a particular area.

Fuentebella added that some of the protocols to be followed include the suspension of electricity services and supply of petroleum products in areas under lockdown.

Round-the-clock power supply, however, will remain in evacuation centers, hospitals, government institutions, command centers of local government units and other vital facilities.

“We will have a situation where evacuati on centers will have to be supplied power or other energy services, pero ‘yung surrounding niya wala (but surrounding areas will have no supply or services). This is to ensure that everyone, especially the people of Batangas and the other affected areas, are safe,” Fuentebella said.

In a message, the DoE official said such actions will be made “upon the direction of the [management] council” and that power supply “will probably be cut soon.”

Mario Marasigan, the DoE’s Electric Power Industry Management Bureau director, said they were instructed to ensure that all facilities covered by the lockdown should be ready at any time upon receiving the green light to resume providing electricity services in the affected areas.

He added that the instruction to them was that “even if the supply of electricity was suspended in areas under lockdown, all facilities should be ready at any given time to restore electricity to these areas.”

Meanwhile, Rino Abad, the Energy department’s Oil Industry Management Bureau director, said Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.’s refinery in Tabangao, Batangas City remains operational as well as eight import terminals, including those in Cavite and Laguna and three distribution depots.

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