The Palawan Provincial Board (PBB) has summoned officials of the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) and Power Source Philippines, Inc. (PSPI) to discuss electric problems in Barangay Port Barton, San Vicente.

PSPI, which provides electricity to the barangay, is scheduled for a shutdown today.

Board Member Cherry Pie Acosta said in her privilege hour on Tuesday’s regular session that aside from the PSPI shutdown, the power company also imposed around P59 per kilowatt rate in the barangay that provides electricity to more than 1,900 families and businesses.

“P59 per kilowatt, masyadong nahihirapan ang ating mga kababayan sa Port Barton. Ngayon ay napag-alaman natin na magshu-shutdown ang Power Source. Kaya paano natin sila matutulungan particularly tourist destination ang Port Barton,” Acosta said.

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Acosta sought PALECO’s explanation on their timeline to connect Barangay Port Barton to their electric supply.

“My concern is to invite PALECO to shed light patungkol dito sa kanilang operation dahil ang mga consumers natin ay nag-agree na po na they will not continue the power doon dahil napakabigat. Ipatawag natin ang PALECO para malaman natin when is the target year sa implementation ng transmission line from Barangay Aberawan down to Barangay Port Barton,” she said.

She added that while waiting for the connection to PALECO grid, it is also possible for the provincial government to provide solar panels to the barangay or to discuss other possible subsidies from the local government of San Vicente.

“Upang ma-address natin ang problema [na habang hinihintay] ay baka pwedeng makapag-purchase ng solar panels or request LGU to subsidize ‘yong ganitong usapin,” she said.

Meanwhile, Board Member Ryan Maminta, who chairs the Committee on Energy said that aside from Port Barton, there are other barangays that also encounter electricity problems. He also said the rate in Port Barton is too high for the residents and businesses within the area.

He also asked for a review of the contract between the local government of San Vicente and PSPI.

“Tila ngayon lang lumalabas ang issue ng subsidy at gumagalaw ang mga subsidy. Tunay na mataas, hindi lang ito ang may banta ng pag shutdown kaya hindi ito mare-resolba kung hindi talaga makakapanayam ang kinauukulan kaya tama na ipatawag sila. Kailangan makita din natin ang kontrata,” Maminta said.

The officials from Paleco, PSPI, Barangay Port Barton, and local government of San Vicente will be invited in the next question hour of the Provincial Board regular session.

PSPI electrification until end of May

PSPI site technical supervisor Joemar Divinagracia said Tuesday that they are holding a dialogue with the community where the result will determine the continuation of the PSPI electrification.

“Sa ngayon kasi may ongoing meeting ang community at management ng PowerSource, ngayong araw, ipi-present ang kasalukuyang taripa. Pag-uusapan pa – hindi naman (magpapatay ngayong araw), mayroon pakikipag-usap sa community kung ano ‘yong kalabasan ng meeting,” Divinagracia said.

It can be recalled that 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 another 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.

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