Residents affected by brownouts, Davao Norte LGU hold rally vs power provider
MANILA, Philippines — About 5,000 complaining residents in Davao del Norte hit the streets of Tagum City anew to appeal for Congress to expedite legislative solutions that will put an end to continuing rotational brownouts amid high cost of price of electricity in the province.
Ryan Amper, co-convenor of Davao Consumer Movement (DCM), said that the “Solidarity Rally,” initiated by the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte and joined by a good number of supporters from various sectoral groups, reflects the growing discontentment of the people for the alleged failure of the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative Inc. (Nordeco) to provide dependable power service at a reasonable price.
Amper said that the people of Davao del Norte are already exasperated with the alleged incompetence of Nordeco to address the crippling power interruptions that people experience at an average of five brownouts a day.
“For how many years, mataas kasi ‘yung binabayaran namin [per kilowatt hour]… Si Nordeco pa rin ang pinakamataas, compared to other electric cooperatives [we pay a high amount for our power supply because Nordeco ramains to charge the highest power rate compared to other electric cooperatives] ,” Amper said.
He said that Nordeco’s clients pay around seven pesos higher than neighboring provinces, and yet neighboring residents get better service from their respective distribution unit.
“Ang common [na problema], lagi lagi ang brownout, lagi lagi na blackout, hindi lang sa buong Tagum, kung hindi sa buong Davao del Norte, including Samal [Brownouts remain to be the common problem, not only in Tagum but all of Davao del Norte, including Samal],” he added.
Meanwhile, Davao del Norte Board Member Nickel Suaybaguio, who also joined the rally, said that the solution to the woes of the people is for the members of the House of Representatives to expedite the termination of Nordeco’s franchise as the electricity supplier in the province.
At present, there are three pending bills filed in Congress, House Bills 5077, 6740 and 7047, that offer solutions to the power crisis in their province.
“Isa sa layunin ng ating rally na marinig sa national ang daing sa ating probinsya na sagad na ang pagtitiis namin sa bulok na serbisyo ng Nordeco at sana ay matulungan naman kami [Our aim why we hold this rally is for the national government to hear our plea here in the province, that we have suffered far too long for the bad service we get from Nordeco, we hope to get help],” Suaybaguio said.
Former vice mayor of Tagum City, Atty. Eva Lorraine Estabillo, likewise joined protest rally against Nordeco to openly show her support to the clamor for the immediate passing of bills in Congress that seek an end to the suffering of Nordeco’s clients.