• Total power blackout looms over Albay

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    LEGAZPI CITY: Albay province, main supplier of clean and renewable energy in the country, is facing total power disconnection anytime and even President Benigno Aquino 3rd could not intervene to stop it, Mayor Noel Rosal told radio station DZGB in an interview here.

    Rosal who attended the meeting called by Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla in his office two days ago to tackle possible remedy to rehabilitate the debt-saddled local power cooperative said that the power disconnection may occur anytime.

    As Rosal spoke, employees of Albay Electric Cooperative Inc. (Aleco) using a public address system urged power consumers to pay their bills to raise money to pay power distributors to avert the looming power disconnection.

    “It might be too late but we have to do something to raise money to pay our standing obligations to power distributors,” Rosal echoed.

    The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has been tasked to help Aleco improve its financial and technical operation—to no avail.

    The cooperative, aside from its P4-billion obligations NEA and the National Power Corp. is also saddled with operational problems—antiquated power sub-stations and equipment, high systems loss and low collection efficiency.

    Albay province is the main supplier of green energy through Tiwi and Bacon-Manito geothermal fields. The Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) ordered a halt in power supply to Aleco for failure to settle its debts.

    PEMC, operator of the spot market where electricity is bought and sold, claimed that Aleco owes P975.72 million.

    PEMC added that Aleco failed to settle its obligations despite agreeing to do so.

    Aleco is being run by Bishop Joel Baylon of the Diocese of Legazpi as head of interim board of directors.

    Baylon said that there is a need to overhaul all antiquated sub-stations, defective meters, transformer and equipment.

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