The Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved on Tuesday a resolution allowing Governor Jose Alvarez to enter into an agreement with the independent power supplier for Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza that will allow the provincial government to temporarily operate its power facility for at least 30 days.
This developed as the power supplier, Power Source Corp., shut down its operations last week after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) denied to extend its contract.
The resolution underscored the province’s bid to directly operate the power facility as a temporary solution, even as the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) began a rush job that will connect Rio Tuba to its mainland grid.
The resolution cited Section 16 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 which supposedly authorizes local government units to exercise powers expressly granted those necessarily, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance.
“To alleviate the situation and in consonance with the mandate of LGUs to promote general welfare, the PGP upon the conformity of PSPI have expressed its intent to temporarily take over the operations of the PSPI’s facility in Barangay Rio Tuba for a period of 30 days,” the resolution stated.
“Accordingly, the PGP shall undertake to generate, maintain, distribute and supply electricity to the residents using the facility of PSPI during the 30-day period except for the provision of fuel for the generators and collection of payment for the electricity which shall be for the account and responsibility of the municipality of Bataraza,” the resolution added.
PALECO, however, said they were not aware of the provincial government’s move and its officials said they were not informed about the resolution.
Late last week, the power cooperative began a rush job to connect Rio Tuba, with its estimated 2,000 consumer households and establishments, to the mainland Palawan grid. PALECO had promised to complete the connection within six days.
PALECO spokesperson Claire Guludah told Palawan News they were not aware of the resolution as their focus was in completing their transmission line connection for Rio Tuba.
“Wala pa kaming alam (sa nilabas na resolution). Dahil ang PALECO ay direktang nakikipag ugnayan sa national agencies. Nag-actual visit sila sa Rio Tuba. Nasa 2,000 ang consumers (in barangay Rio Tuba),” she said.
Chairman Jeffrey Tan-Endriga also admitted he was not made aware of the resolution.
“Wala pa kaming alam dyan we will verify muna,” he told Palawan News in a text message.