Lobregat urges Zamcelco, consumers to decide fast PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 11:51

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday urged the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative and member-consumers to decide fast on the short term options offered by the Department of Energy (DOE) to temporarily ease brownouts in the city.

“We have no time to waste,” the mayor said referring to the remedies presented by Energy Secretary Oscar Petilla during the Zamboanga Power Forum Friday.

The short term options offered include the 5 megawatts (MW) from the Iligan Diesel Plant; another 5MW from Iligan Diesel supposedly contracted to Holcim Corporation but which is willing to give way to Zamcelco but only until September this year and the 5MW from the SPPC, another diesel plant operated by the Alcantara Group. By 3rd week of April or 1st week of May, the PSA signed by Zamcelco with Mapalad Corporation will commence with its first 5MW (out of the total 18MW supply), which would mean a total of 22MW more for Zamboanga City.

Lobregat suggested that Zamcelco call for an emergency consultative meeting of all member-consumers immediately to present the available temporary solutions as well as the indicative rates and get the members’ decision.

“We should decide now, whether want it or we do not want it,” the mayor said stressing that whatever Zamboanga would not take, other areas specifically General Santos City, which is experiencing similar hours of power outage daily, is willing to get the contracts.

As a consumer and as mayor, Lobregat said he favors the temporary solutions that Sec. Petilla suggested for Zamboanga. “How much will it cost, definitely it will be higher but the cost of having no electricity is most expensive of all “.Sec. Petilla during the forum said: “There are actually options for Zamboanga where they can get their power and when they get their power the brownouts will hopefully be arrested, but if you ask me will it be solved by tomorrow? I don’t think so, by next week? I don’t think so but sooner than probably than any other area in the Mindanao region because there are basically available options for them and that will probably cover the majority of the deficit”.

He continued: “This is not to say there won’t be any power failure once everything is in place but it will considerably minimize, IF and IF Zamcelco actually contracts this power, kasi hindi ito binibigay, this will be negotiated and power sale agreements (PSAs) will be signed”.

Petilla emphasized also that in order to arrest the power problem, the residents should pay the price.

As this developed, Zamcelco is calling for an meeting of all member consumers at 2pm today at the Zamcelco multi-purpose covered court in Putik to decide on the matter. — Sheila Covarrubias