Gatchalian presses action against erring power players

Senator Gatchalian challenges Paleco and NEA to flex their muscles to solve the prower problem in Palawan (Photo: Sen. Gatchalian FB post)

The Energy Committee of the Senate has vowed to pursue all available legal remedies to hold liable the parties responsible for Palawan’s continuing power interruptions.

Senator Win Gatchalian said this Thursday in a statement obtained by the Palawan News (PN).

Gatchalian said he has directed the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to conduct a deeper probe on the accountabilities of independent power producers (IPP) and the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) for failing to act on the province’s power issues since January this year.

“The most glaring problem that has caused the power outages is the failure of the generating companies (gencos) to deliver on their commitments,” Gatchalian stated.

The gencos should be held answerable for breach of contract, and the PALECO for possible mismanagement of the utilities, said Gatchalian, the chairman of the said committee, during another dialogue with Palawan power stakeholders.

He stressed that the power supply of the province needs to be stabilized “as soon as possible,” specifically taking to task the DMCI Power Corporation (DMCI) for its failure to deliver the 25-megawatt (MW) guaranteed dependable capacity (GDC) in its power supply agreement (PSA) with the PALECO.

DMCI has submitted an action plan to the committee, indicating that it has already met its power supply obligation with a total of 26.6 MW as of end of August.

DMCI, during the previous months, has been delivering less than its power supply commitment, which the PALECO and the Senate Committee on Energy have earlier said was the primary reason for the power shortage situation in PALECO’s jurisdiction.

Gatchalian has asked DMCI to submit its strategy on how to sustain its supply of power to Palawan, noting the genco’s claim that it is expecting the construction of additional high-speed diesel generation units as standby power in case of unscheduled power maintenance setbacks.

The senator also required DMCI to submit its performance report per generation set basis for the last 60 days.

At the same time, Gatchalian asked the NEA to require the PALECO to submit a performance report on the three gencos which have existing power supply agreements with the electric cooperative.

“It is time for NEA to flex its muscles in extracting info from PALECO,” he said lamenting that the EC has been stonewalling the committee’s requests for documents and reports.

“Let us all move forward and solve this problem. The status quo is not acceptable to the people of Palawan,” Gatchalian stressed.


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