The City Council has adopted a resolution “opening” Puerto Princesa City to another power distribution franchise that it hopes will be able to provide a better service than the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO).
The Council passed the resolution unanimously, following a motion by Councilor Elgin Damasco, but without holding any prior deliberation on how such a policy solution can take place. Damasco only underscored its objective which he said is to have a separate power distribution entity compete with PALECO.
“Ang nais ng representasyon na ito gumawa tayo ng Resolution na buksan na ang lungsod ng Puerto Princesa, magpapasok na tayo ng bagong kumpanya para magkaroon ng kakompetensya ang PALECO. Bahala ang tao mamili kung saan nila gusto,” Damasco said.
With Puerto Princesa City currently part of the existing franchise of PALECO, the resolution did not spell out the mechanics of how a second franchise that will cover only the city may be granted by Congress.
It was also not addressed specifically to Congress, which is the entity that can grant a new franchise, but to the city government.
Damasco, however, pointed out that a bill had previously been filed in the lower chamber by Palawan’s congressional representatives but that this was allegedly blocked by PALECO. He was referring to a House bill filed by Palawan representatives in the last year endorsing the granting of a separate franchise in Palawan to a company identified as MORE Reed Bank Corp.
“Nagpanukala ‘yong dating congressman Gil Acosta Sr., and dating house deputy speaker Abueg na bigyan ng prangkisa ang More Reed Bank corporation na pagaari ng isa sa pinaka-mayamang tao sa bansa si Mr. Razon. Hinarang ng PALECO yon. Ang sabi ng chairman ng PALECO, hindi tama ‘yan, katrayduran ‘yan,” Damasco said.
The Council’s resolution comes in the heels of numerous complaints by power consumers against PALECO due to the frequent cases of blackouts in the City.
Meanwhile, PALECO officials kept mum when asked by Palawan News to react to the Council’s move.
The resolution was also referred to the Committee of the Whole for further action. (with reports from Jeshyl Guiroy and Rachel Ganancial)