Fears, anxieties spread in Davao del Norte over DANECO blackout

june 10, 2014

Fears and anxieties from among officials and other sectors in Davao del Norte were heard yesterday over the disconnection of power to Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative putting its entire franchise area into long power blackout which was reported to start today.
Tagum City Councilor Tristan Royce Aala during Monday’s session of the City Council told his colleagues they ought to know whether the Power Sector and Assets Liabilities Management (PSALM) would have to disconnect their power supply to Daneco on June 10, 2014.
As of morning Monday, Tagum city officials are still clueless on when would the PSALM-imposed blackout would hit Daneco’s franchise area.
Councilor Fernand Bordios said that from what he heard Daneco had been given a two weeks’ time yet.
Councilor Aala slammed congressmen and other top public officials in the province for allegedly not giving concern to the Daneco problem.
He and other councilors supported Bordios’ call for the convening of a power summit to be attended by governors, congressmen and mayors in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.
In Sangguniang Panlalawigan session Monday afternoon, the call to clarify the reported blackout and for congressmen to act on the problem was sounded by Board Member Shirley Belen Aala.
Board Member Raymond Joey Millan also wanted to invite Daneco’s power suppliers to come to the SP to shed light on Daneco’s obligations.
Daneco-NEA OIC general manager Benedicto Ongking, in an phone interview, said that PSALM’s notice of disconnection was received last Feb. 25, 2014, which “lapsed already”.
As to the final disconnection notice, he said, “we still have no information yet, and we still have not yet received a document for that.”
He said though that “PSALM would anytime disconnect considering that it had already its notice of disconnection that lapsed already.”
The Daneco group under the supervision of the National Electrification Administration or the Daneco-NEA had announced in a press conference last week its heavy indebtedness of power obligations to PSALM amounting to P601.37 million.
Besides, Daneco has also power obligations of P50.94 million from the Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine, Inc. (TMI) and P12.76 million from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.
NEA project supervisor to Daneco-NEA Godofredo Guya warned that an impending blackout would come anytime in the month of June to the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley claiming that the Department of Energy has apparently issued a go signal to the earlier request of PSALM to disconnect Daneco of its power supply.
Guya said that Daneco-NEA has been saddled with only 70 percent collection efficiency rating and has still to collect an accumulated P1.1-billion payables from member-consumers.
But the opposing Daneco faction under the Cooperative Development Authority or Daneco-CDA group immediately tagged Daneco-NEA’s report of heavy indebtedness as “a bluff, a lie.”
Daneco-CDA spokesperson Oliver Autor said that Daneco-NEA officials made “a new bluff threatening consumers of total blackout like what they did last year.”
He charged that Daneco-NEA has resorted to anew to threats based on bloated obligations so that member-consumers would have to pay their electric bills to Daneco-NEA.
He said that last year Daneco-NEA officials threatened member-consumers that the power obligations had already reached more than P700 million when “in truth it was only more than P300 million.”
Also, Daneco-CDA media consultant Nilo Lariosa rebuffed Daneco-NEA saying, “There is such thing as an order from PSALM or from DOE to disconnect. They are bluffing because they could not show any document. It’s part of their continuing pangilad sa katawhan (cheating the people).”
He said that the Daneco-CDA had earlier “secured a status quo ante order from Regional Trial Court Branch 95 in Tagum City directing Daneco-NEA including PSALM, NGCP not to do inimical actions against the interests of Daneco-CDA and its member-consumers.”
“If ever they have that order to disconnect they should show that to the people,” Lariosa added.
Daneco-NEA group claimed that they have been dutifully paying the P8.15-million monthly amortization of the restructured P275-million of the P576 million outstanding debt to PSALM from March 2013 to April 2014, and that the Daneco-CDA failed to settle its power bills, the latest of which was given in Dec. 2013. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)
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