President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Energy (DOE) to oversee the operations the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO), an official said.
Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said Wednesday in a media conference that his power bureau had been assigned to conduct an assessment of the coop.
Fuentebella said they will assess PALECO’s audit, technical operations, and management.
Duterte, during his visit in Puerto Princesa on November 10, has warned the expropriation of the power distributor if the power situation in the city and the whole province is not resolved by the end of the year.
“Noong pumunta dito ang pangulo, may nakita siyang problema sa ating power situation at dahil diyan inutusan niya nag DOE na i-oversee ng maigi ang ating electric cooperative kasama ang power provider. Tayo naman, gusto natin na sama-sama ang mga ahensya na ito hindi ‘yong mauuna kami bago may susunod na naman,” he said.
Fuentebella also said that monitoring of Paleco will also be a collaborative effort with the National Electrification Administration (NEA), National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) and Energy Regulatory Board (ERC).
“Kapag dumating ang DOE hindi siya nakatututok sa paninisi, nakatutok siya sa pagpaplano at kung ano ang dapat gawin. Hindi trabaho ng DOE ang magregulate, kundi ERC. Kung sino ang magpa-punish ERC na ‘yon,” he added.
Rampant power interruptions in the province have raised many consumer complaints amid reports of aging and malfunctioning generators and distribution lines.
PALECO board chairman Jeffrey Tan-Endriga recently told Palawan News that they will seek an extension of the year-end deadline to fix the power crisis in the province and improve its services.
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