City gov’t no show at power deal hearing PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 October 2015 10:52

Electric consumers lamented the absence of a representative from the city government to look after the interest the Zamboanga City constituents during the initial public hearing of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on the joint application for the approval of the Energy Supply Agreement (ESA) under ERC Case No. 2015-135RC between the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZAMCELCO) and Therma South, Inc. (TSI) last Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at the ZAMCELCO compound.

The contracted capacity is one megawatt (1 MW) for a term period of 25 years. The said application explains that, if approved, it will help reduce the present power supply deficiency and reduce brownouts in the city which in turn will ease the discomfort of the consumers.

The public hearing was presided by ERC Hearing Officer Atty. Marilen Adriano and the intervenors who manifested their intention were District 2 Councilors Roel “Elong” Natividad and Atty. Rommel “Meng” Agan as member-consumers. Likewise, Atty. Carl Rubio intervened in behalf of  the City Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Group (IGZI) and the National Association of Electricity Consumer for Reforms, Inc. (NASECORE) was represented by its national president Pete Ilagan and the local chapter president, Ramon Follosco.

“I appeared at the ERC hearing to be one of the intervenors in order to protect my interest as well as the interests of my fellow consumer-Zamboanguenos. I want to get to the bottom of the  truth. I want to know the reason why ZAMCELCO failed to ensure the adequate, reliable, quality and secured supply of electricity when all the directors, managers, supervisors, and employees are well compensated,” Councilor Natividad said.

“I  intervened in the initial hearing of the application  because I want to know how judicious and prudent are the Board and management of ZAMCELCO in  addressing its power shortage of 24 MW as we all want to put an end to this suffering brought about by their gross inefficiency,” Natividad added.

On the other hand, ZAMCELCO General Manager Engr. George Ledesma said the 1 MW will not serve on the long term period.

“Stand up measure lang se,” Ledesma said in the vernacular when interviewed.

NASECORE chapter president, Ramon Follosco, however, said, “ the statement of GM Ledesma is inconsistent as the Energy Supply Agreement proposes a 25 year contract period ”.

“Had the Office of the Mayor sought authority from the Sangunniang Panlungsod to intervene in the said application, more consumers would have been informed and attended the hearing”, Follosco added.

Towards the end of the hearing, Nasecore national president, Pete L. Ilagan, pointed out that applicant ZAMCELCO is currently burdened with a huge debt in the amount of P1.3 billion, a system loss percentage  of more than 20 percent, a Comprehensive loss of P128 million in 2014, and  unauthorized  fund utilization of P 221 million also in 2014 and these issues should be considered in the evaluation of the said application.

The public hearing was conducted at the Multi-purpose Covered Court of ZAMCELCO so as to afford ZAMCELCO consumers the opportunity to participate. — Dan Toribio