[UPDATED] PowerSource Philippines, Inc. (PSPI) restored electricity on Maundy Thursday, April 14, in Barangay Port Barton, San Vicente, following a week-long outage that affected 1,958 families and businesses.
PSPI site technical supervisor Joemar Divinagracia said Thursday that power was restored by 5:30 pm after they had obtained 500 signatures.
“Actually lumagpas pa sa 500, marami pa humabol nasa 558 na nga po yata— sa pagkakaunawa ko sa letter ay sa kahilingan lang ng mga tao na hanggang May 31 yata,” Divinagracia said.
The power supply was restored today, Maundy Thursday, after PSPI shut down its plant last April 7.
One of the business owners in Port Barton, Cyndy Besaga Castro, said that they are in urgent need of supplies due to bookings for Holy Week.
“Pero, of course, people wanted as soon as possible, kaya si mayora [Amy Alvarez] uma-action din, and some individuals, kapit sa patalim, not all, but was able to reach 500 signatures,” Castro said.
The company commits to providing uninterrupted electrical service in the barangay, expressing gratitude to the local government unit and business community for giving the issue time to be resolved.
“Nais pong ipaabot ng pamunuan ng PowerSource Philippines, Inc. (PSPI) sa mga consumers sa Brgy. Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan na ang serbisyong kuryente ay ibabalik na simula bukas, ika-14 ng Abril ng taong kasalukuyan. Sa pagbabalik ng serbisyo, ang PSPI ay magbibigay ng tuluy-tuloy at de-kalidad na kuryente sa Port Barton,” PSPI said in a statement released late Wednesday night.
Recently, the tourism office and resort owners in the area voiced concern that the power outage would lead to a decline in guest bookings for Holy Week.
READ RELATED STORY: Port Barton power outage harming its tourism sector
This year, the local tourism office reports that 25 guests per day arrive at Port Barton, which is one of the most popular tourist spots in Palawan.
For a week, the local owners and households were reliant on solar and generator set sources.
The PSPI stated that it had previously completed all of the required documents and procedures by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) following its March hearing.
“Nawa ay samahan ninyo kaming ipagdasal ang agarang pag-apruba sa subsidiya ng ERC upang matamasa na ng mga tao sa Bgy. Port Barton ang mababang taripa sa kuryente,” PSPI noted in a statement.
The PSPI indicated in a letter dated March 7 that it will be temporarily closing its operation on April 7 due to a loss in revenue for three years. The loss was caused by the company’s failure to get provisional authorization from the ERC in conjunction with its application for Authority to Operate (ATO) and QTP Service and Subsidy Contract (QSSC).
They stated in a letter dated April 4 that if they can afford the entire tariff filed with the ERC, they will collect 500 signatures from the community to allow them to continue operating until May 31.
On Wednesday, April 13, barangay leaders from Port Barton personally expressed their worry about the power loss to officials from the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO).
The electric cooperative said that it would meet with the Department of Energy (DOE), National Electrification Administration (NEA), and National Power Corporation (NPC) to discuss an immediate solution to the Port Barton crisis. (with reports from Alex Baaco)