Homeowners in Kensington Place Subdivision left in the dark

Thirty-nine homeowners at Kensington Place along Hagedorn Road in Barangay San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City, are urgently seeking assistance after a transformer failure left them without electricity since the night of June 28.

Dexter Loor, one of the homeowners, told Palawan News that after experiencing a blackout in their area around 7:30 p.m. that evening, power returned by 8:30 p.m. However, by 9 p.m., their subdivision lost electricity again and it has yet to be restored.

“Ang nag power failure na lang yong sa subdivision namin. Noong pinuntahan ni Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) at in-assess ang problema, ang cause is yong transformer unit ng subdivision is nag fail na,” Loor stated.

They were informed that the only option is to replace the transformer unit, which costs an estimated ₱190,000.

Kensington Place’s developer is CLS Properties Inc., wholly owned and managed by Cesar L. Salimbangon from Cebu, as stated on its website.

CLS advertises that the primary focus of its operations is to offer affordable housing options tailored to the needs of Filipino families, emphasizing accessible acquisition methods through collaboration with local marketing experts and supported by skilled and knowledgeable staff.

Loor mentioned that a local CLS property coordinator, Dan Wilson, visited Paleco to address the issue. But Wilson was informed by the power cooperative that it is not responsible for replacing the transformer, as its management, including the maintenance of the power lines of Kensington, has not been transferred to them.

He expressed concern that their electricity problem may take time to resolve because the long-term solution remains uncertain. There is still a question about which entity should shoulder the expense for a new transformer: the subdivision developer, Paleco, or the homeowners.

“The long term fix is to, of course, i-replace yung transformer unit, which Paleco says na hindi na turnover sa kanila ang management and maintenance ng power lines namin, therefore, responsibility ng subdivision. Now, yong pag purchase ng transformer unit will fall sa subdivision,” he said.

“Walang temporary fix na mapro-provide si Paleco. Tumawag kami mismo sa Paleco, and sabi ng general manager nila, walang ibang puwedeng gawin kundi magpalit ng transformer kasi di puwedeng maki-tap yong buong subdivision doon sa—kasi across the street may kuryente sila—magbla-blackout ang buong Hagedorn Road kapag nag-tap kami doon,” Loor explained.

They accepted Paleco’s explanation, Loor stated, so they reached out to CLS. However, the property developer maintained that Paleco should be responsible for the replacement since it approved the subdivision’s power plan.

Furthermore, CLS allegedly maintained that the Office of the Building Occupancy (OBO) of the city government approved the subdivision plan as a whole, rather than individual households.

The predicament has resulted in a back-and-forth between CLS and Paleco, leaving the homeowners confused and uncertain about what’s going to happen. Despite this, in their determination to have their electricity back, Loor said the homeowners have agreed to contribute ₱4,550 each to purchase a new transformer.

“May group chat kami with the management of CLS to voice out our concerns na bakit kami ang magsho-shoulder ng purchase. Ang ini-extend lang nilang help is magbibigay sila ng share nila to purchase the [transformer],” he said.

CLS will reportedly contribute an amount equivalent to what the homeowners are contributing for three unsold housing units, totaling ₱13,500. This means each homeowner’s contribution of ₱4,550 is matched by CLS for the three units.

The combined total contribution from all homeowners will amount to ₱177,450, making CLS’s contribution significantly smaller in comparison.

Paleco General Manager Rez Contrivida reportedly promised to prioritize the installation of the new transformer once it has been purchased.

“We’re holding on to that—basta ma purchase na daw ikakabit nila. Magsabi lang daw kami at i-install nila, later na lang daw yong installation and testing fee,” Loor said.

However, he said their current problem is that both Paleco and the property developer are adamantly refusing to take responsibility for the cost.

This standoff has left the homeowners in a difficult position, as neither party is willing to cover the expenses needed to replace the transformer and restore electricity to their subdivision.

“Bakit ipinapasa sa amin yung cost for the repair? In the first place, bakit pumutok yong transformer? Ibig sabihin mali—may overload na hand, mali yong computation, mali yung allocation. Kumbaga, it wasn’t even our fault na ganoon. Kasalanan ba namin na mataas ang consumption ng kuryente?” Loor asked, noting CLS should have a provision for such situation.

“Parang kami, sige mag-contribute na lang para mabalik ang kuryente namin. Pero parang, that’s unfair and unjust,” he added.

Wilson, in an interview Monday morning, said they are addressing the matter but could not give more information.

He assured them that there is a local source where they could get the unit to restore electricity in Kensington.

“Sa ngayon, papunta ako ng Paleco kasi yon ang napag-usapan namin. Hindi muna ako magbibigay ng ibang comments,” he said.

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