A frustrated member-consumer of the Palawan Electric Coopertive (PALECO) has sought the help of a popular television show host to intervene on the problem of frequent blackouts happening in the city.
The program Idol in Action hosted by Raffy Tulfo and aired at TV5 recently featured a complaint of Christian Punla, a local resident, who said that the frequent blackouts has caused him inconveniences and has damaged appliances of many consumers.
“Iyong iba halos kinabukasan na bumabalik, kadalasan din po ‘yong kuryente ay magbubukas ng umaga, papatay ng tanghali, bubukas na naman ng hapon. Medyo nakakasira kasi ng appliances,” Punla told Raffy Tulfo in the Idol in Action program aired Wednesday, May 12.
Punla said the blackouts have also affected students who are studying from homes and in need of reliable power services. He also pointed out that even President Rodrigo Duterte had already called the attention of PALECO on the matter.
In the program, PALECO spokesperson Claire Guludah explained to Tulfo that the power interruptions in the city were caused by varied factors, including those that were not within the control of the cooperative, such as when a problem was with the power generation facilities or with the National Power Corporation’s (NPC) transmission lines.
Guludah claimed that unscheduled power interruptions is a common experience of many power distribution cooperatives.
She also explained to Tulfo PALECO’s ongoing migration to a more efficient computer system, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA), which she claimed will improve the cooperative’s power distribution system.
Guludah said PALECO will invite Punla on Monday to explain to him the reasons behind the recent power interruptions. As a distribution utility, she said PALECO only covers those concerns within distribution, she said. The generation which is within the scope of power providers is beyond PALECO’s control, she added.
PALECO chairman Jeffrey Tan-Endriga said in a text message that airing the complaint in a national TV program is part of their members’ right and privileges.
“That’s their rights and privileges as consumers,” he said.
“Claire already encouraged this person to undergo orientation. Question is how can you blame PALECO if the problem is from transmission line owned by NPC which is a government entity and also the IPPs, they have their own management and we can’t just easily rescind the contract and we need to observe the provision of the contract,” he added.
Tulfo did not make any specific demand from PALECO, but suggested that he can help solve the problem if he can understand the problem better.
“Wala kayong sinasabing definite na para ma-solve talaga ‘yong root of the problem, ang sinasabi niyo lang lagi ay generation, ano ba ‘yon sa generation?” Tulfo said. He pointed out a similar experience in Mindoro where he said he was able to resolve the problem when he spoke with the National Power Corporation.
“Tinulungan namin at ngayon (ay) mabibigyan na sila ng additional megawatts and that would solve the problem,” he said.