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The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) said it will file an anti-pilferage case against the management of Pathmosville Palawan after discovering unregistered meters sub-connecting approximately 50 households, but clarified that the affected families are not a part of the case and were victims of the pilferage.

Neriza Regal, officer-in-charge general manager, said in a press conference on Friday that based on initial investigations, only six out of seven existing meters in the subdivision are registered with PALECO.

PALECO’s technical team discovered on March 25 that an unregistered meter is sub-connecting the stated number of households, which pay their monthly bills to the management and not to PALECO.

“We confiscated the meter and we are going to file a case pursuant to the RA 7832, anti-pilferage. Based on our investigation, there are at least 50 households connected doon sa unregistered meter. Also based on our initial investigation, these individuals are paying to the management of Pathmosville, but Pathmosville is not paying doon sa meter,” Regal said.

Cooperative board chairman Jeffrey Tan-Endriga said that the matter is still subject to further inquiry as it is difficult to identify those involved and it must follow a legal process.

“Kasi kung hahayaan ito, it will set a precedence, and tayong mga MCO ang apektado kasi ‘yong ninanakaw nila, tayo ang nagbabayad. Papasok ito sa system loss at pinaghahati-hatian natin itong lahat.

Residents only victims
Endriga emphasized that residents are innocent victims and not involved in the pilferage.

In a separate text message, he claimed that PALECO has already confiscated the unregistered meter as evidence, and that residents should also file complaints against Pathmosville.

“Biktima rin ang mga residente na involved dito dahil in good faith, nagbabayad naman sila ng monthly bill nila. Hindi involved ang mga residente rito, bagkus ang management,” Endriga explained.

“Hindi ko alam (power situation of affected residents), obligasyon na ng management ng Pathmos ang concern na ‘yan. Dapat ang mga resident doon mag-complain din dahil niloko sila ng management ng Pathmos,” he added.

According to a homeowner who declined to give her identity, 54 homes were actually disconnected from the electric grid three weeks ago.

The homeowner, who has sympathy for the residents and has obtained her electricity connection in 2021, is not among the 54 affected households.

However, she stated that in the past she was among those who paid upon subdivision transfer. She noted that they were required to pay a connection fee and that homeowners routinely inquired about the progress with the management.

“Doon muna nagpa-submeter sa mother meter ng subdivision habang nasa proseso nang pag-a-apply sa PALECO yung 54 households na ‘yon. What they know is that nakakonekta sila sa mother meter ng Pathmosville kung saan naniningil ang PALECO. They don’t have any idea, this is not individual collection like these 54 households kumonek sila ng sari-sarili nila, hindi ganoon ‘yon,” the homeowner told Palawan News.

“They are paying, we are paying our electricity sa management, doon sa developer. Actually, hindi nga siya management, it is not even a homeowners’ association, it is the developer. Sa developer, sa kanila kami nagbabayad ng aming monthly, which is higher than the usual. Iyong kilowatt namin is higher and mas marami kaming fees na binabayaran kasi nakakonekta pa kami sa kanila,” she added.

The developer cited is the Pathmos Realty and Development Corporation.

Since their transfer to the subdivision in 2018, homeowners have been clamoring to be transferred to the line of PALECO.

“Iniisip namin na ‘yon talaga ang kalakaran nila, sabi nila matagal daw magkabit ang PALECO. hindi na namin alam kung sino ang paniniwalaan namin,” she said.

The management of the subdivision has not responded to calls, text messages, and emails from Palawan News requesting comments and reactions as of the time of writing.