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Monday, 14 December 2015 13:00



Mandaluyong — I fell ill and got hospitalized for eight days at Cuidad Medical. Like Rodrigo Duterte’s numbers, my blood sugar soared. That’s what sweeties can do to anybody’s blood sugar level — surge like Celso’s dancing fountain.

To those who visited me  and offered prayers like the Carmelite Sisters, muchas gracias.

Zamboanga and the rest of forsaken Mindanao have a lot to thank for, now that we have steady and sustained electricity. I illustrated two weeks ago how much power we used to have and how much more we will need so we can have sustained and reliable power until the baseload power plant in San Ramon becomes operational, barring hitches, by 2019.

With the provisional authority granted by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on the power sales agreement between ZAMCELCO and the WESTERN MINDANAO POWER CORPORATION (WMPC) for the provision of 50 megawatts, ZAMCELCO now has a total of 105MW, more than enough power we need to free us from the dark and hot side of Planet Earth.

This means, ladies and gentlemen, that we shall have available power - more than we can burn - until the permanency of electricity becomes a reality by 2019.

I’ve written that ZAMCELCO is not beyond redemption only if the firm hires men of extraordinary intelligence and integrity to run it as efficiently as a Bentley. I wrote about SPECTRE: Steady Power to Electric Consumers Through Reliable Energy. That’s what Alsons Power Group is doing through its allied plants WMPC and eventually San Ramon Power Inc. The rates are determined not by ZAMCELCO nor the power providers, but by the ERC. Weld that in your heads, people, so that by the time you get your next electric bill and be electrified by the additional charges, you’ll know who to blame. ZAMCELCO IS NOT THE CULPRIT, nor are the power providers. The power players need to make money. That’s the reason for their existence.

Yesterday, everybody, including the cynics like the temporary occupants of City Hall and some businessmen educated abroad, leaped with joy upon learning that the ERC has granted a provisional authority for the infusion of 50MW for ZAMCELCO. MERRY LIGHTED UP CHRISTMAS.

The business community lost a lot of money the three weeks that we’ve had six hours of irritating rotational blackouts. Now, it’s back to normal for commerce and industry. Night life is alive as ever — Las Palmas, Zalo’s, and Paseo del Mar, even Zamboanga White.

Ironically, it was some PILOSOPO businessmen and City Hall that opposed to the sale of 50MW. Once more with feelings, damas y caballeros, IT IS THE ERC THAT DETERMINES THE FAIR ELECTRIC RATES TO BE CHARGED TO THE CONSUMERS. Now that we have all the power that we can chew, they’re the first ones to jump with joy. Madre de cacao! KUNG AKO ANG PRESIDENTE, KUNIN KO YAN.

In the meantime, Alsons Power Group has assured that it shall remain “steadfast in our commitment to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to the people of Zamboanga city and the rest of Mindanao.”

Just the other day, Alsons thanked the ERC for the grant of a provisional authority  for the provision of 50MW to Zamboanga city. There’s a hitch to this, though. The ERC reduced the tariff sought by Alsons by 40 percent. The tariff would be used for maintenance and operational costs of the WMPC plant in Sangali. Alsons has file a motion for reconsideration of the approved tariff rate. It pleaded for a reasonable and fair tariff rate that will sustain the power output without interruption.