PALECO inquiry to probe into NEA interventions

Palawan lawmakers want Congress to probe deeper into the problems that continue to hound the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) even after the intervention of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) two years ago.

Rep. Gil Acosta Jr., justifying their call for another congressional inquiry, said they want to know why NEA continues to exercise control over the cooperative.

He was referring to the regulatory body’s move to designate a NEA-appointee as general manager, to head the private cooperative following an order from President Rodrigo Duterte himself during a visit to Puerto Princesa City.

“Nasaan na ba tayo doon sa plano na two years ago, one of the biggest changes din is for NEA to take over the management of Paleco but as far as I am concerned, ‘yon ay remedial na solution lang na dapat hindi nagtatagal,” he added.

PALECO chair Jeffrey Tan-Endriga said in a text message their newly-appointed acting general manager (AGM) Bienvenida Tongol, will respond to the congressional inquiry if it happens.

“The management headed by our AGM will provide the necessary response to their inquiry. Rest assured that all questions will be answered based on records and capability of our coop,” he said.

The resolution jointly filed by the three Palawan congressional representatives stated that despite the adequate electricity supply, power interruptions are still persistent in the PALECO franchise area.

“It is highly urged that Congress look into the operations of PALECO and the resulting erratic distribution of electricity in the province of Palawan and the city of Puerto Princesa, with the end in view that regulatory measures be put into place to protect the rights of its consumers, and if proven, hold PALECO and/ or any other responsible agency or office accountable for its actions,” the resolution stated.

Endriga said that the electric cooperative will leave the technical explanation to their engineers to state the reasons for the issues faced with the electricity distribution.

“We’ll prepare the answer soon,” he said.

Acosta said the proposed hearings will still be decided by the House leadership.

“Hinihintay natin na mabasa sa first reading for committee referral, at itatalaga kung anong committee. Depende sa pamunuan ng Lower House kung saan ibibigay upang may kapangyarihan na ipatawag not only PALECO but also NEA, ERC, DOE, and other national agencies na may kinalaman dito,” Acosta said.

He said that the resolution will be given either to the Committee on Energy headed by Congressman Mikee Arroyo or Good Government and Public Accountability headed by Congressman Michael Edgar Aglipay or DIWA Partylist to conduct the inquiry .

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