City gov’t is current in payment of power bills PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 May 2014 11:39

The city government is current in the payment of its power bills for 2014 and will therefore not be subjected to disconnection by the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco).

City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. said this matter and several others concerning power bills were clarified during a dialogue presided by City Legal Officer Atty. Jesus Carbon and attended by Zamcelco officials led by General Manager Engr. George Ledesma and other city officials Thursday afternoon in City Hall.

In the case of the arrears, the City will check the records and will determine how it came, according to Orendain. Nevertheless, he assured that the arrears will be settled the soonest possible time following government procedures. The City Finance Committee will have to determine where to source out funds for the purpose.

On the other hand, the back accounts for electricity amounting to some P400T incurred by the Sangguniang Panlungsod for several months are chargeable to Genetian Builders, the company that undertook the building’s repair. “The arrears at the SP are not the fault of the City Council but of the contractor”.

Orendain said the City Government have already sent letters demanding payment to the contractor.  He assured that the city will help Zamcelco in collecting the  said amount from the contractor.

Zamcelco GM Ledesma said the dialogue was the presentation and statement of facts concerning the City Government’s power bills.

Earlier on, Ledesma said the city government is deficient in its payment of bills with Zamcelco by approximately P20 million and is given only until May15 to settle the amount.

He expressed elation that the dialogue took place and settled the issue. He too agreed that City Government operations go through government procedures.

Orendain clarified that the P20 million mentioned by the cooperative also covered unpaid bills by national government offices as well bills for city government facilities that are used as evacuation centers such as the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex (JFEMSC) in Baliwasan.

The City Administrator said that because of the extra ordinary situation, the power bills for the JEMSC have not been settled regularly.   Nevertheless, he said, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) has approved the revision of the CDRRMC 2014 Investment Fund where the P15 million allocated for infrastructures in evacuation centers has been realigned for payment water and light bills including for maintenance and operating expenses such as declogging of latrines at evacuation centers and transitory sites. — Sheila Covarrubias