The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) is banking on the Department of Energy (DOE) to fast-track its approval of the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) before its current contract with Delta P expires in April 2020.

PALECO board of director chairman Jeffrey Tan-Endriga said one of the solutions they are considering is to have a certificate of exemption to provide a temporary contract to the power provider that will replace the old Delta P.

“One of the solutions is to allow a power provider to have a temporary contract for a year while the bidding is being conducted. Kasi kung maaalala niyo, in-extend lang natin ang contract ng old Delta P last year at mag-e-end ito this coming April 2020,” Endriga said.

He said PALECO was supposed to conduct a CSP in 2019 but due to the delayed approval of the terms of reference (TOR), they have not yet given any endorsement for it to be done.

Endriga said that if the contract of Delta P expires without a new power provider replacing it, PALECO would have a 13.5 megawatts power shortage.

“Kapag ito ay nahinto, aside from the increase of demand, kakapusin pa tayo ng almost 14 megawatts, 13.5 megawatts to be exact. Ang worry natin dito, magkakaroon tayo ng load shedding dahil kulang tayo sa supply. Ina-allow naman sa batas na magkaroon ng one year [temporary] contract para punuan ang kakulangan ng demand natin at ma-conduct natin ‘yong bidding,” he said.

During the visit of DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi recently in Barangay Cabayugan on November 8 for the inauguration of the hybrid power plant, Endriga said that he spoke to him regarding the TOR that is pending at the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

“Very positive naman ang kanyang sagot at in-endorse niya ako kay director Mario Marasigan. Nangako si director Marasigan na maghintay-hintay lang ‘soon’. ‘Yan ang term niya. I don’t know kung gaano katagal ‘yong ‘soon’, niya baka ‘soon’ na next year,” he said.

Endriga said PALECO has always been following up and exerting efforts by writing letters and making calls to the NEA.

He said that the electric cooperative does not want to delay the CSP, but it can’t do anything as the DOE is the approving authority.

PALECO is also seeking the media’s help on calling the attention of the DOE to fast-track their request.

“I-call ang attention ng DOE para mapabilis ‘yong request for exemption nga at terms of reference ng main grid Palawan. Marami tayong ico-conduct na CSP. May main grid na 20 megawatts, meron pa tayong El Nido na 10 megawatts at sa San Vicente, Taytay. Pero hindi tayo maka-usad kung hindi ma-umpisahan dito sa main grid, naka-tengga lahat ‘yan,” he said.