MANILA - Meralco said Friday that the enhanced community quarantine and the hot weather "caused a very high surge" in electric consumption among its consumers.
Joe Zaldariagga, spokesman of Meralco, said in an interview that due to the lockdown and the weather, demand for electricity went up in residential areas, leading to power outages.
"Siyempre, ang behavior ng tao 'pag nasa bahay at ganito kainit, unang-unang instinct is to turn on 'yung cooling devices," he told DZMM Teleradyo.
"Ang nangyayari ngayon, it is spiking o tumataas siya beyond the usual range."
Zaldariagga confirmed 52 areas covered by Meralco have experienced brownouts since March 6. More than 55,000 consumers of the Philippines' largest power distributor have been affected by the outages.
Of the 55,000, more than 32,000 live in Metro Manila. Quezon City, Pasig, Las Piñas, Taguig, Makati reported outages on Thursday.
The remaining consumers affected live in Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal and areas nearby the capital region.
Other factors leading to the surge are reported incidents of residents who illegally connect to Meralco's power lines.
"We are now correcting that," Zaldariagga said.
Energy Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella earlier ordered the distributor to conduct regular maintenance checks.
“Para kahit magbrownout man 2 to 3 hours at least masisiguro na hindi mahabaan kasi aayusin na ang linya bago pa man magka brownout, iimprove na mga linya,” said Fuentebella.