The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) is not in a position to extend until October the due date of settling unpaid bills by its member-consumer-owners (MCOs), similar to what Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) in Luzon is doing, officials of the cooperative have stated.
PALECO board chairman Jeffrey Tan-Endriga said the power coop will not apply the release of the disconnection notices in October by MERALCO for unsettled payments due to the quarantine because it is not a private company.
Endriga stressed that PALECO, as an electric cooperative, should not be compared to a private company like MERALCO which is profit-oriented and has sufficient funds to cover for payments to suppliers.
“Malinaw ang nakalagay sa Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) advisory, we cannot compare ‘yong operation ng private company at saka noong electric cooperative kasi sila kaya nila magparuros, kumbaga profit-oriented sila, malaki kinikita nila, kaya nila mag-abono sa mga supplier. Cashflow tayo, kumbaga dadaan lang sa palad yong pera na ibabayad ng ating MCO,” he said.
Unlike Meralco which has allowed its consumers to settle their unpaid bills until October, PALECO is only allowed to amortize the unpaid actual billing of March and April as per the advisory of the ERC.
By the start of May, the MCOs of PALECO were mandated to pay the actual billing.
“Hindi natin puwede i-compare kung sabihin natin na October kasi ang pinapayagan lang ng ERC ay buwan ng Marso at Abril, ang Mayo ay kailangan na natin bayaran kasi mabuti nga tayo compare sa ibang electric coop kasi nagawa natin, naaubunohan kasi halos tatlong buwan tayong hindi nakakakolekta,” he said.
“Meron pa nga diyan na February pa ay hindi pa sila nakakabayad, nakasama doon sa delay ng collection and yet, we managed to pay our generation company, yong mga supplier kasi we are very liquid, kaya natin. Pero hindi nangangahulugan na hanggang October ay gawin natin ito kasi maapektuhan naman,” Endriga added.
He said that PALECO could not let the MCOs pay unsettled bills until the end of October like due to other expenses, like the upgrading projects under its capital expenditure (Capex).
“Kung mapapansin niyo kung ilan ang porsyento na maiiwan sa PALECO ay wala pa 10 percent, iyan ay para sa maintenance ng ating distribution lines at pasweldo at mga gamit sa opisina at pasildad, iyan lang ang ginagamit natin. Ano man ang surplus niyan, ibinabalik din natin ito sa ating mga kamiyembro through dividend and patronage fund,” he said.