To help resolve power crisis: Celso seeks early ERC nod on prov’l authority for add’l power PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 April 2013 11:22

Mayor Celso Lobregat has requested the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to immediately issue the provisional authority of the power supply agreement (PSA) between Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) and the Mapalad Power Corporation in a bid to help resolve the worsening power situation in the city.

But in the exigency of resolving the power shortage, Lobregat in a letter to ERC Chairperson Zenaida Cruz-Ducot, asked  that Zamcelco be allowed to immediately purchase power from Mapalad prior to the grant of the said provisional authority.

Before sending the formal letter, Lobregat yesterday morning personally contacted the ERC chairperson by phone to appeal for the swift issuance of the provisional authority and if possible, to already allow Zamcelco to draw power from Mapalad even before the issuance of the said authority.

The Zamcelco-Mapalad power supply agreement involves the 18MW additional power supply intended to help reduce power shortage in the city. However, the agreement can only be considered consummated after the ERC has granted the provisional authority—which can only come after the conduct of the public hearing which is scheduled on May 14, 2013 yet.

Zamcelco acting general manager and NEA project supervisor Sherwin Mañada in a letter to Mayor Lobregat dated yesterday, April 24, sought the latter’s intervention on the undertaking to persuade the ERC to issue the provisional authority on the PSA so that Mapalad can dispatch and supply power to Zamcelco as soon as possible. The Zamcelco has written the ERC, April 23 requesting for the issuance of the provisional authority in view of the worsening power deficiency in the city that causes long hours of blackouts, restlessness and mounting complaints from the constituents.

In sending his letter to Chairperson Docut, Lobregat also attached Zamcelco’s letter to him with a marginal note asking the ERC official to help Zamboanga City by approving the provisional authority.

In his letter to Docut, the mayor confided that the people of Zamboanga have been suffering, for the past years, the ill effects of the Mindanao power crisis. “During the past weeks alone, our city has experienced outages as long as eight hours daily”.

He stressed that the Mindanao power crisis has adversely affected—to a great extent, “not only our economy, but also the daily lives of our people. With the daily outages, business companies have been incurring high costs for power generators and additional workers. The outages also block business investments in the city. They have caused disruption and discomfort to the daily lives of our people, especially these summer months”.

Lobregat said as an immediate solution to the power crisis, Zamcelco has signed the PSA with the Mapalad power corporation, which is already capable to supply the much-needed power.

“Indeed the immediate implementation of the power supply agreement is the immediate solution to the prevalent power crisis that has long beset Zamboanga City,” Lobregat added. — Sheila Covarrubias