The Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) has started the imposition of a P9.9 million penalty against power supply provider DMCI Powers Corporation (DMCI) for failing to deliver 25 megawatts of contracted gross dependable capacity in 2015.
Ric Zambales Sr., general manager of Paleco, disclosed Wednesday afternoon in a press conference that the DMCI has started paying the amount in August on installment basis of P500,000 per month.
The fine was imposed after Paleco confirmed in 2015 that of the 28 power generating units of the DMCI, seven were out of order and beyond repair, and were responsible for the power supply deficit that caused prolonged power outages in Palawan.
“We computed the penalty of DMCI, and it reached almost P10 million. They initially paid P500,000 to Paleco last year,” disclosed Zambales.
He disclosed that DMCI has requested to pay the penalty in tranches after the Paleco board of directors (BOD) asked that they put up two 5-megawatt bunker-fed power generating units in Aborlan that cost them around P800 million.
“These are now up and running in Aborlan and are already helping maintain our power supply. This is to cover their interim power plant, which only has one-megawatt high-speed power generating units that only run 14 hours a day. They need to rest, otherwise, they would overheat,” he said.
Originally, DMCI was requesting to delay the payment, citing that the National Power Corporation (NPC) has not yet paid the P35 million it owes them, but Zambales said enforcing levy has dragged long enough and it has to be done this year.
“It’s been dragging… finally, after the initial P500,000 last year, we already started collecting from them in August this year despite their request. We had to be firm with our decision,” he said.
He added that they have also imposed another P4 million fine against the DMCI for interruptions that occurred between the months of April to October this year.
“Of the P9.9 million, we expect that by December they would have paid us almost P3 million. By next year they would be able to pay fully as we’re collecting P500,000 per month,” he stated.
Zambales added that on Palawan’s power dilemma, solutions had been provided since September 25, the last meeting they had with Senator Win Gatchalian, who chairs the energy committee in the Senate.
Of several recommendations made, only the rescinding of the DMCI power-sharing agreement was not done as there would be a legal problem, he said.
“We would have a legal issue if we rescind because the DMCI plant that is currently operating is only interim, meaning temporary power plant. Their permanent power plant is coal power plant. But then if we look at the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) decision, it was mentioned there that the interim power plant will continue until such time the coal power plant is in place,” he said.