The City Council has set for deliberations the request of Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) for additional funding that will allow them to extend electrical services to Barangay Napsan in the city’s remote west coast.
City councilor Elgin Damasco was initially critical at the cooperative for making the request for a P15 million additional city budget, citing its P25 million funding for its expansion project from the National Electrification Administration (NEA).
PALECO explained that NEA budget to them was made from the allocation of budget to the budget to accommodate all cooperatives in the country.
“Ang ginagawa ng NEA hina-hati hati ‘yong budget para lahat ng cooperative sa Pilipinas ay mabigyan po. Pagdating naman sa pagbibigay ng budget, kung urgent ‘yong pangangailangan ‘yon ‘yong baka mabigyan pa ng budget sa nirerequest nyo,” a representative from PALECO told the Council.
Councilor Victor Oliveros, chair of the appropriations committee, reiterated that the NEA should shoulder the total cost instead of requesting the LGU to fund the said project.
“Sa pagkaka-alam natin maraming pondo ang NEA. Ito rin ang nabanggit sa atin nakaraang ipatawag natin sa pag pupulong sa mga barangay na nasabi. Tila national ang sinasabi na dapat sila ang nag popondo, ngayon ni-rerequest n’yo sa LGU,” Oliveros added.
Damasco urged the city government to include the remaining 15 million budget in the 2021 supplemental budget. He said that the remaining budget was important citing if the 700 million worth of smart lights can be funded then it is also possible for the LGU to shoulder the remaning cost.
“Kasi kung mag aantay naman tayo ng pondo from National Electrification Administration (NEA) baka sa 2022 pa mag bibigay ng pondo so sobrang tagal. Sana by 2021, baka naman may supplemental budget ang city government. Sana hanapan ng paraan na 15 million lang ito,” Damasco said.
“Naka-budget nga tayo ng 700 million para sa mga barangay sa bayan. How much more doon sa mga rural barangays,” Damasco added.
The PALECO request was referred both to the Committee on Energy and Committee on Public Works for further deliberation.