Sep 30, 2020

Probe body says power woes not just PALECO’s fault

(File photo)

It is not only the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) that should be solely blamed for Palawan’s power woes, a report of the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee and Task Force PALECO (IACC-TF) showed Friday.

Department of Energy (DOE) USec. Alexander Lopez, who is on top of the task force’s probe, cited factors where the problems lie such as “policies of local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), especially on the issuance of permits to cut and trim trees.

“What we are trying to say is if the people of Palawan want to have a better electricity service, let’s share the burden. It should not be PALECO’s alone. Maraming factors na beyond PALECO’s control. Nakita natin sa technical aspect, improvement ng facilities ng PALECO, improvement ng facilities ng National Power Corporation (NPC), the policy of DENR with regards to the trimming and cutting of trees, the agreement between the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and DOE dahil nagro-road widening,” Lopez pointed out.

The IACC-TF presented its report to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) headed by Gov. Jose Chavez Alvarez on Friday.

Lopez said the DOE will seek to solve the problems of generation, transmission and distribution systems, including policy, capability, and capacity which are part of the problems in Palawan’s power situation.

Meanwhile, the National Electrification Authority (NEA) will send 60 personnel from 10 electric cooperatives from different areas in the country to help PALECO.

They will assist PALECO in its “massive vegetation problem” for three months, from August to October.

He also said that the DOE might look at the suggestion of Gov. Alvarez on the partnership between PALECO and the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO).

“Nandyan si NEA para tulungan si PALECO sa sitwasyon ng problema niya sa distribution system although na-emphasize naman na di lahat ng problema ay galing kay PALECO but what we are trying to say we are going to help PALECO maybe in the distribution issues or the transmission,” he also said.

Among the 10 electric cooperatives being considered are Batangas Electric Cooperative (BATELEC 1 and BATELEC 2) and Panay Electric Cooperative (PECO).

Jeffrey Tan-Endriga, chair of the PALECO Board, said they are open to the suggested partnership with MERALCO.

However, Endriga said MERALCO is a more profit-oriented entity.

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