(Photo courtesy of PALECO)

The City Council of Puerto Princesa has asked the National Electrification Administration (NEA) not to recall Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) acting general manager (AGM) Engr. Federico Villar, Jr., claiming that a change in management would stymie power restoration efforts following Typhoon Odette.

Villar was appointed by NEA as PALECO’s AGM in November 2021, replacing Bienvenida Tongol.

City Councilor and energy committee chair Elgin Damasco said there have been “talks” of recalling Villar’s appointment and sending him to a different location.

Damasco authored a resolution, approved by the council on Monday, requesting the NEA to retain Villar’s appointment, saying he has so far been showing good performance as AGM.

“Naging usap-usapan kasi na baka i-recall ang appointment ni Engr. Villar, e kung mangyayari ‘yon baka makaapekto ‘yon sa mga repairs and restoration efforts dito. Nakita naman natin na mabuti naman ang ginagawa ni engineer dito. Nagagawa nang maayos ang trabaho, kaya gusto natin na i-retain siya,” said Damasco in an interview on Monday.

The city council also approved another resolution authored by Damasco, which asks President Rodrigo Duterte to allocate funds for PALECO repairs so that such costs are not passed on to members. Repairs will cost roughly P100 million or more, according to PALECO board chair Jeffrey Tan-Endriga.

Meanwhile, Endriga confirmed that Villar is under consideration for recall, but the timeline when it will happen will be determined by NEA.

“So far they [NEA] have verbally informed me on this matter but nasa discretion nila when. Baka isa sa mga basis nila ay tapusin ang full restoration ng ating linya,” he said in a text message on Monday.

If Villar’s appointment is recalled by the NEA, Endriga said the electric cooperative may have a new general manager or officer-in-charge. He added that PALECO welcomes the city council’s expression of support not to recall Villar’s appointment.

“No problem with us, it’s just an expression of sentiment,” Endriga said.