North Cotabato gov’t lends funds to Cotelco to ease 10-to-14-hour brownouts
COTABATO CITY, Philippines — To ease the pain of long brownouts, the North Cotabato provincial government has been lending funds to the Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) serving North Cotabato’s first district, Gov. Emmylou Mendoza said Saturday.
Mendoza met with power stakeholders in Cotelco-PPALMA area to address 10 to 14 hours of brownout in the towns of Pigcawayan, Pikit, Alamada, Libungan, Midsayap and Aleosan (PPALMA).
Dubbed “Forum on PPALMA Extensive Power Curtailment,” the forum was attended by representatives from Cotelco-PPALMA and COTELCO Main Office, Department of Energy, National Electrification Administration, National Power Corporation-Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management, Corp. and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
According to Cotelco-PPALMA manager Felix Canja, the cooperative needs 13 megawatts a day but has been getting only three to four hour power supply the past few weeks, forcing 10 to 14 hours power outages.
Before the power woes in Mindanao, Canja admitted that Cotelco-PPALMA failed to contract with Independent Power Producers for additional power supply on top of the load supplied by National Power Corporation.
Canja said Cotelco-PPALMA tried to purchase power generators but was shelved when the Energy Regulatory Commission rejected the plan.
To ease the pain, Gov. Mendoza said the provincial government would extend financial aid to Cotelco-PPALMA to buy two megawatts from Cotelco-main.
Cotelco-main General Manager Godofredo Homez said it had an 8-megawatt contract with Therma Marine to add up to 10 megawatt provided by NPC.
Homez said his cooperative could lend 2 megawatt to Cotelco-PPALMA. The 2 megawatts would cost the electric cooperative P2 million.
In a statement issued by Mendoza’s office Sunday, the governor wanted to ensure Cotelco-PPALMA’s capability to repay the amount.
Last week, Cotelco-PPALMA member consumers, held protest actions calling for “presidential intervention,” and describing the power situation “an emerging crisis situation.”
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