Project status in the area during its fifth day of completion in Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza | Photos from PALECO Facebook page

The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) said its ongoing efforts to connect Barangay Rio Tuba to the mainland power grid is nearly done and is expected to finish anytime.

“Inihahanda na lamang ang 21 poste ng kuryente para sa “payout” upang ganap nang matapos ang gawaing teknikal sa lugar,” the franchise power distributor said in a statement issued Friday.

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This developed even as the current independent power provider Power Source Philippines Inc (PSPI) was temporarily allowed to resumed operations after they were ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission to cease operations last February 18 and turn over the responsibility back to PALECO.

The provincial government, raising concern about the disruption of power services in the highly-populated area of Bataraza, initiated an agreement with PSPI to allow it to operate again in the interim for at least 30 days.

PSPI said it will hand over the operations back to PALECO as soon as the latter is ready to link up the area to the main grid.

“Sa MOA naman namin between PGP ay nakita po natin ang initiative ni Governor sa mga taga Riotuba na mabigyan pa rin ng ilaw ang Riotuba and legal basis po yon to generate uli ang planta at itakeover pansamantala,kung sakaling matatapos po yon and okay na sila PALECO handa naman po nating irespeto din yon,” he said.

PALECO earlier vowed to complete the inter-connection within 6 days, a deadline that lapsed Friday.

In an update posted on Facebook, PALECO said the conversion and upgrade of 25 kilometers (km) single phase to 3-phase line (Phase I) is now at 91 percent completion, and the conversion and upgrade of 13.4 km single phase to 3-phase line (Phase II) is at 80 percent completion.

While both the construction of 4.5km 3-phase line extension and single-phase line conversion (16 spans of DX Line) both reached the 100 percent completion.

“This day also marks the momentous interconnection of Rio Tuba Distribution System to the Bataraza Distribution System, making Barangay Rio Tuba part of the Main Palawan Grid,” PALECO announced.

PSPI General Manager Bartolome Mallorca told Palawan News they remain committed to the order of ERC after their application for extension of their operation was denied.

“Unang-una po naman in the first place sumunod tayo sa ERC order simula noong hindi po napagbigyan ang kahilingan ng PSPI for our extension. Nagbigay tayo ng announcement at notiice sa Barangay Riotuba sa LGU na hindi na po magpapatuloy ang pagbibigay ng kuryente because yan po ay order and we need to follow it po,” Mallorca said. (with reports from Aira Genesa Magdayao)

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