Continuing calvary PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 November 2018 12:55

LOOKING IN

BY ROD BALBON

We, the electric consumers, heave our sigh of relief with the execution of the Integrated Management Contract (IMC) between Zamcelco and the winning power firm Crown. The unannounced and unscheduled brownouts have already exasperated and taxed our patience. Thus, with the signing of the IMC, which was confirmed by the National Electric Administration (NEA), we thought that these problems will soon come to an end and the steady and continuous supply of electricity is forthcoming.

But this expectation has been dampened when up to now, nothing has been done by the parties to the contract to solve these decades-old blackouts that affected business operations, destroyed many appliances, and caused great discomfort. This IMC is getting to be a big joke because blackouts are continuing and we don’t want to experience these in the coming holiday season. Zamcelco is silent whether the winning bidder and the only one that participated in the bidding after the withdrawal of Meralco, Crown, has already deposited or paid the bid price of P2.5 billion. Thirty percent (30%) of this amount will be used for debt servicing and seventy percent (70%) would be used to replace and repair old existing lines with bigger wires that carries larger voltage to improve the distribution of power and to lessen system loss. My informant revealed that even the 2.5 percent performance bond of the bid price has not yet been put in by the winning bidder as required under the established bidding rules.

We are now left in the limbo. When will the winning bidder comply with these requirements to start improving the supply of electricity to the city? Meralco which was the initial winning bidder, backed out after the ERC accordingly directed it to lower Zamcelco’s system’s loss from 25% to 8.3% which it deemed highly improvable to achieve. San Ramon Power Incorporated (SRPI) is likewise waiting on the sidelines for the full implementation and compliance of the contract for it to build its plant that will supply Zamcelco the needed power of the city as agreed upon by them.

This problem will certainly be a big election issue in this coming local election. It will not be the anomalous and overpriced projects that will be implemented next year and were justified as pro-poor and pro-people. Everybody knows that these were merely thought of only now to garner votes and fool the gullible voters. The cleanliness and garbage problem of the city, the shooting incidents, and the monstrous traffic problems are likewise big election issues.

These are the gut issues that will define the victory or defeat of candidates running in this coming local election.