Ice plant with tampered electric meter busted PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 March 2012 13:59

In its campaign to reduce system loss, The Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) has caught another violator of the anti-pilferage law involving an ice plant with tampered electric meter.

Zamcelco Vice President Elbert “Bong” Atilano disclosed that the cooperative is now watching closely on some industrial companies that are consuming sizeable amount of electricity but are paying very minimal amount because of tampered meters.

Atilano revealed that in their latest discovery, the ice plant is supposed to pay more than P200, 000 a month but has just been paying some P23,000 for the past years because its defective electric meter was intentionally tampered by unscrupuluous individuals allegedly connected with Zamcelco.

Atilano, who is representing District 8 in the Zamcelco Board (Ayala and some other barangays in the west), said they had earlier received reliable information telling them about the unbelievable consumption of the ice plant despite its massive daily operation.

Immediately, Zamcelco personnel went over the monthly bill record of the company followed by an on-the-spot inspection which resulted in the discovery of the alleged irregularity.

“This is indeed the second time we discovered big loaders with tampered electric meters,” Atilano said as he warned others to immediately do the correction before Zamcelco’s team will will come to them in surprise inspection.

Stiffer penalties including disconnection await violators of the anti-pilferage law.

Also last year, several houses in Barangay Talon-Talon were found to have tampered meters.

All were penalized resulting in additional collection for Zamcelco, which was on its red alert financial status at that time.

Tampered meter is the biggest contributory factor to the cooperative’s system loss.

At present, the system loss is now averaging at 16 to 17 percent, which means more than P400 million in waste a year.

If system loss will be lowered to at least half of the present figure, Zamcelco will most likely gain more than P200 million a year, Atilano said.

Because of this problem, two of the cooperative’s department heads have been sanctioned — one is now on floating status while the other was forced to resign  — for not doing anything to address the system loss that almost resulted in the coop’s bankruptcy, Atilano said.

Atilano stressed that with the cooperation of the member consumers and Zamcelco personnel themselves, “I believe that we can lessen the system loss in the near future.” — Jimmy Villaflores