DOE must ensure immediate energy service after emergencies

MANILA Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi reiterated on Friday that the Department of Energy (DOE) must ensure resiliency and energy service immediately after an emergency situation such as an earthquake.

In a press conference held Friday at the DOE office in Bonifacio Global City, Cusi cited that as the country prepares for The Big One or a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, the DOE and the whole energy sector must enhance resiliency and plan ahead.

He noted that the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit Visayas last year had shown the vulnerability of the country's energy systems to earthquakes.

This incident had affected the electricity supply in Leyte, Samar, and Bohol, according to Cusi.

In an event like this, the department's task is to ensure that energy services are restored at the soonest possible time. We need all available tools and technologies to enhance our resiliency planning and implementation, Cusi emphasized.

As such, the DOE has sealed a partnership with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) for the use of Filipino-made state-of-the-art software called Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS).

On Friday, the two agencies signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) dubbed Capacity Enhancement of the Energy Sector on Hazard, Risk Assessment, and Exposure Database Development Through the use of REDAS Software. This is to help enhance the energy sector's ability to identify areas that might be greatly affected by earthquake incidents.

Cusi said the MOA outlines the development of a database on hazard, risk assessment, and exposure to earthquake through the use of the REDAS. It can be used as a tool for emergency preparedness, contingency planning, and mainstreaming disaster risk reduction.

Our partnership will bring us closer to achieving an energy sector sustainable and able to withstand and quickly recover from the impacts of human-induced and natural hazards, he remarked.

Through DOE's partnership with Phivolcs, the energy sector will undergo an intensive REDAS training.

This would help the energy sector in providing quick and near-real-time simulated earthquake hazard information to disaster managers, and also help them in assessing the distribution and extent of the impacts of a strong earthquake to their people and assets, Cusi said.

Source: Philippine News Agency