Business group asks NEA to take over Zamcelco PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 July 2018 17:39

By LIZA JOCSON

A local business leader is urgently asking the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to take over the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco).

The electric cooperative has recently become the subject of numerous controversies foremost of which is its failure to enter into an Investment Management Contract (IMC) with Meralco-Comstech.

The IMC deal is being viewed by Zamboanga power consumers to end the looming power crisis in the city brought about by Zamcelco’s poor financial standing and operation.

Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Pedro Rufo “Pocholo” Soliven cited Section 31 of the EPIRA law which says that NEA is authorized and empowered to “step-in” rights to provide institutional , financial,and technical assistance to electric cooperatives. This is to ensure the economic and financial viability and operation of all electric cooperatives.

The office is also mandated to restructure ailing electric cooperatives with the end in view of making the cooperatives economically and financially viable.

Unconfirmed reports say that Zamcelco owes at least P2-billion to power suppliers.

One of these power generation companies, the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) has demanded that the electric cooperative pay its arrears amounting to P300-million.

WMPC has threatened to cut down its power supply by 20 megawatts should Zamcelco fail to pay its back dues.

Zamcelco General Manager Engr. Edgardo Ancheta said that the cooperative will give the amount of P175-million as partial payment, a move which stalled power curtailment in the city.

Soliven was among those who were invited by City Mayor Ma. Isabelle G. Climaco to an emergency meeting held at the City Hall Conference Room to discuss the issue on the financial status of Zamcelco after MERALCO backed out from the IMC.  (L. Jocson)