Probe of Basilan power outages sought | Inquirer News

Probe of Basilan power outages sought

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 09:42 PM August 04, 2023

A suspected bomb carrier was killed while his cohort escaped during an encounter with government troops in Lamitan City, Basilan on Wednesday evening, the military reported on Thursday. basilan curfew stranded tawi-tawi

Basilan map

MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Minority Leader Mujiv Hataman filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the power outages in Basilan, which he said affects the livelihood and the economy of the province.

According to Hataman, power failures occur every two to three hours in the province, highlighting how it affects the operations of hospitals and other health institutions.


“Napakahalaga ng maayos na supply ng kuryente sa isang komunidad, lungsod o lalawigan. Kung palagi ang brownout at power outages, malaking hadlang ito sa pag-unlad at sa kabuhayan ng mga mamamayan,” said Hataman in a statement.


(A proper electricity supply is very important in a community, city or province. If there are always brownouts and power outages, this is a big obstacle to the development and livelihood of the people.)

“Hindi understatement ang sabihin na malaki ang nawawala sa Basilan dahil sa mga power outages na ito. It has really caused huge economic losses in our province. At ang masama pa dito, nadi-discourage ang mga investors na mamuhunan sa amin dahil sa ganitong sitwasyon,” he added.

(It is not an understatement to say that Basilan is losing a lot because of these power outages. It has really caused huge economic losses in our province. And what’s worse here, investors are discouraged from investing in us because of this situation.)

In filing House Resolution No. 1157, Hataman set his eyes specifically on Basilan Electric Cooperative (Baselco), the electricity distributor in Basilan.

With Baselco’s franchise set to expire in 2028, Hataman through the resolution said that “there is a need for Congress to decide whether or not to renew its franchise for another 50 years … or to look at other options such as the creation of a separate electric cooperative for Isabela City or granting the franchise to a private distribution utility.”

He enumerated the problems surrounding the operations of Baselco, along with its P3.2-billion debt to the National Power Corporation (NPC), as well as its lack of capacity to implement capital expenditures.


“Baselco owes NPC P3.2 billion in loans … In this regard, Baselco is currently paying its debt to NPC at the ratio of 60 percent payment of interest and 40 percent payment of the principal amount,” the resolution read.

“Capital expenditures have been minimal or non-existent for nearly 20 years due to high debt servicing rates and inadequate revenue earnings of Baselco,” it added.

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According to Hataman, the resolution was filed after Baselco together with the NPC during a stakeholder’s forum in October said that the outages stemmed from the following reasons:

  • Aging wires, posts and connections, most of which are at least 46 years old;
  • Technical losses – reduced from a high of 36% to the current 20%;
  • Financing problems;
  • Vegetation control/right of way issues with landowners who refuse to allow BASELCO workers to undertake sustained line clearing operations in their private lands; and
  • Other concerns, such as the collection rates, pilferage rates, missionary electrification, reclosers, etc.


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TAGS: Basilan, power outages, Regions

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