TEN electric cooperatives (ECs) from Luzon and the Visayas will assist beleaguered Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) in improving its services in the province, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) said.
In a statement over the weekend, NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong announced the creation of Task Force Kapatid Paleco, whose aim is to hasten the rehabilitation of Paleco’s distribution system.
The task force is composed of Batangas 1 Electric Cooperative Inc. (Batelec 1), Batelec 2, First Laguna Electric Cooperative Inc. (Fleco), Aklan Electric Cooperative Inc. (Akelco), Antique Electric Cooperative Inc. (Anteco), Capiz Electric Cooperative Inc. (Capelco), Iloilo 2 Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ileco 2), Cebu I Electric Cooperative Inc. (Cebeco 1), Cebeco 2 and Cebeco 3.
Each EC will deploy six technical personnel with a boom truck, and equipment and logistics to help Paleco rehabilitate the power lines within its coverage area.
NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Artis Nikki Tortola said the task force would start rehabilitation works on August 16 and stay in the province for at least three months.
Tortola explained that the decision to deploy a task force came after a meeting on July 23 between NEA officials led by Masongsong, Paleco Acting General Manager Nelson Lalas and Paleco Chairman Jeffrey Tan-Endriga.
“One of the issues [that came out during the meeting] was the problem of Palawan in power reliability. So, it was decided that Task Force Kapatid will be sent to Palawan to assist the electric coop in the rehabilitation of their system, line clearing, repair and protection, including the transfer of poles affected by the DPWH’s road widening projects,” he said, referring to the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Last December, the agency appointed Lalas as Paleco project supervisor and acting general manager to ensure efficient delivery of services to its consumers.
In his assessment, Lalas attributed the frequent power interruptions/reliability issues of Paleco to vegetation problem, and lack of acceptable dispatch protocol in the generation, transmission and distribution systems.
The NEA also noted the results of the performance audit and assessment the Department of Energy’s Task Force Paleco conducted, which cited the inadequate coordination of the protection system of the EC and National Power Corp.’s distribution lines, overloaded substations and vegetation obstruction, and the slow coordination and assistance among various government agencies on line maintenance and improvements.
Since 2017, the beleaguered electric cooperative has been receiving complaints from consumers and the local government unit.
Amid the supply woes, Paleco previously reported that the EC had reduced instances of power interruptions by about 50 percent after taking concrete steps to address its technical issues, adding that it hoped to further reduce the frequency and duration of system interruption by at least 50 percent from the previous year.