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Ongoing discussions with Meralco to avoid a repetition of the NAIA power outage

According to Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, talks are underway between the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and power provider Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to prevent a repeat of the recent power outage that affected Terminal 3 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as well as other terminals.

In a briefing, Bautista claimed that transportation officials and Meralco representatives met before the terminal’s power was turned back on.

“Even before the power was restored, we spoke with Meralco. We also spoke about how to proceed,” he stated.

According to Bautista, a team from Meralco arrived at the Pasay City terminal to assess the issue.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) was fully powered by 8:46 a.m. after Meralco’s electricity was restored at 6 a.m.

The check-in system, immigration system, final security x-ray, arrival luggage carousel, elevators, escalators, air conditioning, and lighting were all partially powered by the MIAA’s generator sets, according to Bautista.

The NAIA Terminal 3 kept running on generator power.

To identify the power outage’s root, teams from Meralco and the MIAA tested and diagnosed the equipment.

Meralco engineer Noel Espiritu stated in a DOTr news release that the power loss was likely caused by faulty wiring or a short circuit, which produced a large quantity of power current and a fault indicator. He also stated that they are still investigating the source of the power interruption.

Bautista stated that MIAA would carry out a “full electrical audit” for all terminals to prevent further power outages and disruptions for passengers.

The entire electrical audit for NAIA Terminal 3 will take three months.

Thanks to the audit results, the MIAA will be able to identify which essential goods and services will require budgeting for and subsequent acquisition.

To identify the root cause of the power outage, the MIAA and Meralco will conduct a joint technical review with help from an impartial third-party expert, according to Bautista.

The DOTr will also collaborate with the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency to look into potential security risks.

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