Transmission firm cuts off power to Albay over unpaid bills

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LEGAZPI CITY—At exactly noon on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) cut off power in the entire province of Albay due to the failure of the Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco) to pay its current bill for June amounting to P56 million, said Hazel Morallos, Aleco spokesperson.

Morallos said the disconnection notice was served by the NGCP last week on orders of the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC).

Morallos said the power disconnection would continue indefinitely unless Aleco pays its debts with the PEMC.

The province-wide blackout would affect some 160,000 households in the province. It angered members of the business community who said the disconnection would mean huge losses for their businesses.

Morallos said PEMC also asked Aleco to submit 300 heavy users who failed to settle their current and outstanding accounts with the cooperative, including whether these users have been disconnected or not.

In a statement released through his Facebook account, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said he was “working hard and pleading with energy authorities and corporate boards to secure an immediate selective reconnection.”

He said that “selective” meant some 100 heavy users would no longer be serviced.

According to him, it was a disconnection which they were able to hold in abeyance for 15 years with the National Power Corp. and three years with PEMC.

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