Zamcelco gets go-signal to buy more power supply RATES TO GO 100% UP PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:04

Electric consumers of Zamboanga City have formally put their faith on the hands of Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, (Zamcelco) officials to employ whatever means to solve the pestering brownout problem, despite knowing that power rates would go up to almost double than that of the current one.

This happened in yesterday’s public consultation, which was called upon by Zamcelco to get the electric consumers’ views as to the coop’s plan of entering into several contracts with independent power producers, to acquire the needed power supply and totally eliminate the 6 to 8-hour daily brownouts starting next month.
Out of the almost 200 attendees, representing multi-sectoral groups, including city officials, only Councilor Cesar ‘Jawo’ Jimenez Jr., opposed the idea for Zamcelco to contract power supply from IPPs.

When asked why, Jimenez said Zamcelco might put the electric consumers into a trap, in terms of paying high cost of electricity and never able to get away with it, even until after the power crisis is over.

“I doubt if power rates will ever go down again, once they (Zamcelco officials) sign contracts with these profit-oriented power producers,” Jimenez explained.
However, Zamcelco President Elbert “Bong” Atilano Sr. assured all member-consumers present that, “if power rates will start to go up beginning April, it would in the same manner, gradually go down by September, when Mapalad Power Corporation’s 18-megawatt starts coming in”.

Atilano sought the consumers’ permission during said public consultation for Zamcelco to purchase the unused 5-megawatt from Iligan City based-HOLCIM Cement Corporation, another 5-megawatt from Southern Philippines Power Corporation in Sarangani Province, and an additional 20 more megawatt from other power sources.
“These diesel-fed power supply contracts when perfected, would surely fill-in PSALM and TMI’s 30-megawatt deficiency, and would thus, bring electricity to city residents 24 hours a day,” the board president said.

Atilano, however, reiterated his caution for consumers to bear with the expected power rate increase, which would likely go up to P9 per kilowatt-hour, a particular reminder , which is close to 100 per cent among those present in the public consultation, confidently, yielded to.

“Now that we already have the “green light” from our consumers, we will start working on all papers beginning tomorrow, that is, to ask from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), to grant us the necessary provisional authority, to start entering into contracts with the suppliers,” Atilano said.
Among those present during the consultation, were Mayor Celso Lobregat, his brother, 2nd district congressional aspirant Jomar Lobregat, Councilor Ahman Nuno, other Zamcelco board officials and department managers, SRPI officials, and some administration’s council aspirants from both districts. — Philip Abuy