The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) is not keen on shouldering the cost of relocating electric posts affected by certain city government projects, as the local government continued its road widening programs.

Jocelyn Dasco, representative from PALECO, talking before the City Council committee on legal matters on Thursday afternoon, said that relocation or installation of electric posts are usually shouldered by the consumers who are seeking replacements of posts.

“Hindi sa ayaw, kapag na-timing lang na wala talaga kaming pera. Kung na-ordinance na ‘yan at may road widening next year at wala kaming enough fund to relocate ‘yon ang magiging problema namin,” Dasco said.

The issue was taken up by the Council after the city administrator, through lawyer Arnel Pedrosa, in a letter issued on February 27, requested for the amendment of City Ordinance No. 1004, or the Public Utility Mandatory Consultation Ordinance.

Councilor Nesario Awat, chairman of the committee, pointed out that the amendment may be “offset” if the local government initially takes on the cost, and include provisional penalty against the contractor.

“Ang nakikita kong sitwasyon ay may poste na bagamat ang mga poste ay sabihin na nating hindi maayos pero kung magkaroon ng widening at tatamaan ‘yong mga poste, naturally dapat ilipat. Ngayon kung ililipat, sabi niyo dapat sagot ‘yan ng city kasi kayo ang nagpa-widening at kung hindi, hindi kami ang mananagot,” Awat said seeking clarification.

PALECO insisted that the ongoing projects have already approved budgets which does not entail additional cost for the relocation and reinstallation of new electric posts.

“Ang aming sentiments total i-aamend pa lang siya, i-consider din ‘yong sitwasyon na talagang it will entail cost. Hindi naman against kami sa development pero baka hindi namin ma-immediate kasi ang budget namin for the year hanggang doon lang,” Dasco added.

The amendment was tabled for further deliberations as it muddles through the second reading in the following weeks.

(With a report from Jeshyl Guiroy)