Frustrated Palaweños have dubbed the province of Palawan as the “brownout capital” of the country following the prolonged and persistent bouts of power outages across the province.
In various social media posts, many have expressed their dissatisfaction and frustration with the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO), particularly its officers, for their inability to address the power problem that has been plaguing the province for years.
The criticisms recently culminated to several netizens dubbing the province as the “brownout capital” of the Philippines using various memes in social media.
Messages received by Palawan News through its Facebook account, which came from concerned individuals both inside and outside the province, also reflected such frustration.
“Panay na lang excuses. Karapatan ng mga mamamayan na mabigyan ng tamang serbisyo,” said one concerned citizen who refused to be named.
Some residents have even suggested to stage a rally against PALECO for the latter’s poor service to the people.
“There is very deep dissatisfaction from consumers. This perpetual problem has been a blight on Puerto Princesa for so many years and is totally unacceptable for a so called “high urbanized city,” said Neil Lowden in his comment in a Facebook post.
Power outages in the province have been recurring for several years now, with power trip-offs particularly persistent during summertime.
According to PALECO, the outages are due to load curtailment brought by preventive maintenance and low voltage supply of independent power producers (IPPs). Another cited contributing factor is the high demand for power during summer season.
“Dahil sa pag-increase ng demand, minsan may mga areas na nag-ooverload ang mga transformer,” said Jeffrey Endriga, chair of PALECO Board of Directors.
In a press conference held on March 14, Endriga said that among the major causes of the power outages are the high-speed engines that are not continuously running, an issue which the IPPs are trying to address.
Members of the public have been clamoring to make PALECO’s power suppliers answerable for their poor service. Unfortunately, PALECO cannot penalize the suppliers as the power supply agreements (PSA) with them do not have ‘penalty clauses’. According to PALECO, they are trying to make amends by integrating such clause in the new PSAs of power suppliers.
Paleco Manager Ric Zambales also announced in the same March presscon that Delta P will be able to provide new engines which can augment the power supply in the province for the summer. Palawan’s power supply currently sits at 53.7 megawatts (Delta P – 13.5 MW, PPGI – 15.2 MW, DMCI – 25 MW). As of this writing, the Energy Regulatory Board (ERC) has not granted permit to Delta P for the operation of its new engines.