Representative Gil Acosta, 3rd district Palawan, has voiced his support for the move by President Rodrigo Duterte for a government takeover of the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO), saying this will help facilitate a more efficient power distribution situation in the province.
Appearing in the Palawan News program “The Profile” on Saturday, Rep. Acosta urged PALECO to recognize that there is a problem with its performance and that it needs to be addressed by the government.
He said that President Duterte has already warned them before to improve their services, but still, there has been no improvement.
“First and foremost, this is not a political issue, this is an issue for the citizens of the province. For the longest time, we knew that there was a problem. Alam naman natin ‘yon but unfortunately number one Paleco should acknowledge the problem dapat hindi laging tinatapon sa iba ang pagkakamali at kakulangan,” he said.
“Three years ago, the president saw the problem of power supply. Ang sabi nya ayusin. In fairness sa PALECO, mayroon namang improvement, pero hindi na-satisfy ang need natin as consumers,” he added.
Rep. Acosta acknowledged that a government takeover is “pinaka worst that could happen to PALECO” but added that “I think that is what we need.”
“My thoughts are the same as [the] president. Before, when nobody [acknowledged] Palawan, there was a need for the coop. But we have to ask the question if ang PALECO ba… kung may room for expansion or kung kumikita lang ba sila ng sapat para may pang pasweldo. Yon yong mga tanong na hindi nasasagot,” he said.
Acosta said he is open to the possibility of another company that is competent enough to solve Palawan’s power problems. He added that PALECO’s consumers have expressed dissatisfaction with its services.
“Right now, [the] government’s takeover is the short-term solution. We have to have a company, regardless of whether it is a private, public entity, or semi-private, that could take over PALECO na mayroong plans for the future. We need a company that has the competence and financial backing. Siguro in ten years period, mag-i-improve [si PALECO] but we do not have the time because we, as Palaweños and consumers, there must be a drastic change,” Acosta said.
Earlier this year, Acosta also filed a resolution in the House of Representatives to investigate the operation of PALECO and to address the power supply problem in the province.
“Three to five years, I think, dapat magkaroon na ng efficient power supply. We deserve it as a highly urbanized city. The good thing ay napansin ng pangulo, eventually doon papunta ‘yong resolution ko. We are still waiting for papers that were ask for Paleco one of these is financial statement, sinasabi kasi nila walang pera,” he said.