Council backs move to buy more power supply PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 March 2013 10:58

The continued and pestering brownout problem in Zamboanga City has accidentally proven its worth, in terms of unifying people, who wish to get rid of it.

This, after the city council, passed a resolution yesterday, supporting the move of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) to source out more electricity from independent power producers (IPPs), no matter how much it will cost.

The motion was presented by opposition Councilor Melchor Ray Sadain, co-authored by administration Councilor Rodolfo Lim, and approved by all members present, except for Councilor Cesar ‘Jawo’ Jimenez Jr., who preferred to abstain from voting on it.

Jimenez cited as reasons, the small number of Zamcelco’s member-consumers, who attended last Tuesday’s public consultation, how many contracts would Zamcelcohave to enter with IPPs, and what effects would the projected increase power rate bring to ordinary electric consumers.

“There was no open forum during the consultation, after explaining to us about the real power situation, the board president (Elbert ‘Bong’ Atilano Sr.) just asked those who are in favor for Zamcelco to buy more power supply from IPPs to stand-up, and that’s it Mr. Chairman,” Jimenez said during the session.

However, Jimenez’ view was overruled by those of the majority, prompting the council’s presiding officer, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, not to call for a nominal voting on the matter anymore.

In his defense, Sadain said, “the city is now in search of additional power supply, for us to get rid of this pestering brownout problem, and I believe, we need to support Zamcelco on its endeavors to source out the needed power supply at all costs”.

Sadain asked Jimenez, not to be to too technical on the recent public consultation’s procedure, as the main point now, is how to find an immediate response to the current power crisis.

For his part, Lim justified his affirmative vote on said motion, saying, “we have to let Zamcelco explore all means, after all, the rate shall be regulated by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)”.

Councilor Myra Paz Abubakar suggested that the task of  sourcing out for more power supply shall not only be left upon Zamcelco officials, but also on other entities who have great interests in having the 6 to 8 hour brownout problem in Zamboanga City solved.

During last Tuesday’s consultation, the electric consumers gave Zamcelco the needed “go-signal” for the cooperative to enter into contracts with Iligan City-based HOLCIM Cement Corporation for a 5-megawatt unused supply, and another 5-megawatts from Southern Philippines Power Corporation (SPPC) in Sarangani.

On top of this, the coop is also set to buy 20 more megawatt diesel-fed power supply from other IPPs, one of which is Western Mindanao Power Corporation, sister company of San Ramon Power Incorporated (SRPI), which operates a plant in barangay Sangali, east coast of this city. — Philip Abuy