NEA blamed for Zamboanga power crisis

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Residents here are living in darkness for 7 to 10 hours daily due to the inefficiency of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) that caused the delay in the purchase of P39-million worth of modular generator sets or gensets.

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NEA and Councilor Kim Elago are currently being blamed for the power crisis. The latter is a local legislator who opposed the purchase of the gensets from CAMEC JCB Corporation.

It all started when local distributor Zamcelco awarded the bid for gensets to CAMEC for complying with the requirements. Other bidders were Lin Man, Daneco and Moresco.

Zamcelco General Manager George Ledesma said over the radio that some people at NEA did not do their homework with regards to the Allotted Budget Cost (ABC) in the purchase of gensets. It was Zamcelco’s Technical Working Group that prepared the specifications because NEA did not provide any guidelines in the procurement of gensets. This is normally done before bidding starts.

NEA earlier ordered the local electric cooperative to repeat the bidding process since CAMEC’s price was expensive although the former could not clearly explain why.

This caught the attention of Zamcelco President Omar Sahi who represents over 100,000 electric consumers.

Sahi said the reason why NEA wants the bidding to be repeated is because the latter’s representative at the Zamcelco board is said to be a relative of one of the losing bidders.

A Zamcelco insider said some officials are studying the possibility of filing a case against NEA for abuse of authority.

Local analysts believe that NEA’s supervision of Zamcelco is doing more harm than good to consumers.

Arturo Cabidog, an economics instructor and senior official of a people’s cooperative, said Zamcelco should be registered with the Cooperative Development Authority instead of NEA so it can function as a true cooperative and not work under the mercy of NEA.

NEA oversees over 119 electric cooperatives in the country. Retired university Professor Manuel Manggubat said these have become the “milking cow” of NEA.

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