There would be higher risks of brownouts when students, some season workers, and tourists flock to the provinces for vacation, according to the vice chairman of the House committee on energy, in reaction to the PAGASA declaration of the start of the summer season.
Rep. Carlos Roman L. Uybarreta said the power utilities nationwide must prepare for the increase in demand for electricity this El Nino summer.
"Need for electricity in Metro Manila and other urban areas would somewhat ease with the temporary migration of many to the countryside, but that same demand will shift to the hometowns and could test the limits of power and water reserves over there, especially in districts where there have been rotating brownouts," the 1-CARE party-list solon said.
"Unknown to most people here in Metro Manila, rotating brownouts are common in some provinces because the power distributors there have long been unable to meet growing demand for electricity because of the growth of their local population and economy," Uybarreta added.
"The Department of Energy is right in the opening up the power generation markets to more players, so that unmet demand is addressed," the energy consumers solon said.
He also noted there are provinces where the need for the electricity "has been acute for some years now."
Uybarreta said he expects demand spikes during Holy Week and around election day because of surges of people going to their hometowns at those times.
"More people and the concentration of many people in specific areas means higher demand for electricity, as well as for water. These temporary demand surges can test power supplies in the countryside," Uybarreta pointed out.