The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) is eyeing to energize remote areas in mainland Palawan with solar diesel system in partnership with the Association of Isolated Electric Cooperative (AIEC) by the last quarter of the year.

According to officer-in-charge (OIC) general manager Engr. Ferdinand Pontillas, they are particularly targeting the remote barangays of Rizal and Bataraza in the southern part of the province and El Nido in the northern part.

“Merong plano at unti-unti na ini-exceute ng PALECO through the help of AIEC. Maglalagay ng solar diesel system don sa mga munisipyo ng Bataraza papuntang Buliluyan na malayo sa grid, kasama ‘yong Rizal. Sa northern part naman, sa dulo, pinaka-tip ng El Nido, meron tayong dalawang proyekto na pareho rin, in partnership between PALECO and AIEC,” he said.

Pontillas said that the first batch is expected to be completed by the last quarter of 2021 but he did not specify which areas will be the first to be completed.

“Regarding the timeline, we are expecting to deliver or to hopefully finish the first batch on the last quarter of this year. May budget naman siya, part of that will be grant for PALECO and regarding the total amount for that project, we have not yet seen the costings but it’s a partnership and with grant din siya. We are hoping na hindi naman ganon kataas ‘yong ating i-invest for that particular project,” he said.

Aside from partnership with AIEC, PALECO is now also polishing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Smart Communications to bring power to their cell sites in some particular areas. Phase I will cover Barangay Napsan in Puerto Princesa going to Berong, west coast of the municipality Quezon while phase II will be the northern part of El Nido, covering from its west coast going to east coast area.

“Actually, it’s a big savings for PALECO. Makakatulong siya kasi naka-line up siya sa mga project na dapat namin gawin but since Smart is willing to construct the line in order to bring power to their cell sites in those locations so payag sila na sila muna ang mag-invest and they will enter into a memorandum of agreement with PALECO in terms maintenance of that line and possible refund of a portion of the cost that they will be spending for that project,” he said.