Palawan Electric Cooperative has switched on the connection of Barangay Rio Tuba in Bataraza distribution lines to the main grid of the electric cooperative on Wednesday afternoon, March 3.

Around 2,000 households and commercial establishments in Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza are now connected to the power distribution line of Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) with the switch on ceremony held Wednesday (March 3) afternoon.

PALECO also posted the announcement on its official Facebook page.

The switch-on ceremony was witnessed by project supervisor Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola, PALECO board chairman Jeffrey Tan-Endriga, OIC general manager Engr. Ferdinand Pontillas, Bataraza mayor Abraham Ibba, and Rio Tuba barangay captain Nelson Acob.

In an earlier statement, Acob said Rio Tuba residents will begin to enjoy electrification from PALECO as it will provide stable and sustainable power supply after electricity was cut on February 18 when the previous power provider Power Source Philippines, Inc. (PSPI) shut down its system after the Energy Regulatory Commission thumbed down the renewal of its services.

“Since si PALECO na ang mag-i-energize dito sa atin, nakikita natin na magiging sustainable and stable na ‘yong electricity natin dito sa barangay Rio Tuba. Alam naman natin na si PALECO ang legitimate distributor ng kuryente dito sa buong Palawan. Nakikita natin na sa part ng residents ng barangay Rio Tuba, hindi na tayo nangangamba hindi tulad noong nakaraan,” Acob said.

PALECO started the construction and upgrading of lines to connect Rio Tuba to its main grid on February 20 with a target completion of six days. However, based from information received by Palawan News, it was accomplished in eight days due to unavoidable circumstances which include terrain, clearing of heavily vegetated areas, clearing path of lines, and additional kilometer of lines because of rerouting from the airport

After shutting down its power plant, PSPI temporarily resumed operation on the evening of February 24 after a Memorandum of Agreement with the provincial government was signed.

PSPI again shut down its system for good on Wednesday morning to give way for the meter reading before the scheduled switch on ceremony of PALECO.

Meanwhile, PALECO director Moises Arzaga expressed gratitude to the members of PALECO team who worked on the marathon construction of the power lines and government officials who extended support.

“Pagpapasalamat lang dahil naisakatuparan na ang isang proyekto na inaakalang imposible. Ang dapat sana ay gagawin ng six months nagawa ng eight days. Dumagdag Ng two days dahil sa terrain, clearing ng heavy vegetation, daming oil palm na dapat putulin dahil sa dadaanan ng linya, additional KMs at ang pag reroute dahil sa airport,” Arzaga said.

“Our commitment to serve Palaweños better by distributing power for a progressive Palawan! Thank you LGU Bataraza… mayor Abraham Ibba and Capt Acob of Brgy Rio Tuba for their 100% support. Thank you provincial government of Palawan thru the governor for invoking the general welfare clause that powered Rio Tuba for several days while awaiting for the switch on ceremony and for PALECO to finally distribute power in Rio Tuba,” he added. (with reports from Ruil Alabi)