June 19, 2024

The Insider News

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Rep. Erwin Tulfo asks congress to review franchise of Paleco due to poor performance

HOUSE Deputy Majority Leader and ACT-CIS partylist Rep. Erwin Tulfo have asked the Congress to review the franchise of Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) due to its poor performance since 1974 when it was established.

During the congressional hearing on Monday into the issues of sufficiency, reliability, and affordability of electricity in the province of Palawan chaired by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, Rep. Tulfo questioned PALECO for continued power interruptions in Palawan that range to four to five hours or more daily.

“I think it’s high time that the Committee on Franchise will have to review the franchise of PALECO. We need to get rid of this company. Since 1974, people of Palawan have been suffering the same problem over and over again,” Tulfo said during the hearing .

Tulfo got irked when PALECO general manager Engr. Rez Contrivida admitted during the hearing that the power company increased its power rates late last year. In an advisory last Dec. 2023, the electric cooperative stated that from P13.67, the consumers in the province will pay P14.71 per kilowatt hour.

“Saan kayo kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha? Lagi kayong brownout tapos mag-i- increase pa kayo? How can you do that? Hindi ba kayo nahihiya sa mga taga-roon?” Tulfo questioned.

Tulfo also questioned the Energy Regulatory Commission for allowing PALECO to increase its power rates despite the company’s dismal performance. “Bakit pinapayagan ng ERC yung increase? Ang pangit na nga ng serbisyo tapos inaaprubahan ang increase,” Tulfo stated.

For his part, Palawan 2nd District Rep. Jose C. Alvarez, also suggested to all the officials of PALECO to submit their resignations after they refused to admit that they failed to give quality service to Palaweños.

“Tinutulungan namin kayo dito sa Kongreso para solusyunan ang problema, pero hindi niyo inaamin na may pagkukulang kayo, so paano namin kayo tutulungan? Dapat siguro mag-resign na kayo,” Rep. Alvarez told PALECO leadership.

Alvarez echoed Tulfo about the perennial problem of power supply in Palawan.

Tulfo, who was also raised in Palawan, berated PALECO’s general manager for continued brownout in the province.

“Taga doon po ako. I was raised in Palawan, I was there since 1972. Alam ko na binuksan kayo nung 1974, same freaking problem up to now, 2024 na po tayo. Same problem, brownout,” Tulfo said adding that based on reports, power interruptions in Palawan ranged from four to five hours or more, almost every day.

Tulfo also scolded the general manager for stating that brownout in Palawan was only 30 minutes per day.

“Alam mo Mr. GM bakante yung kwarto namin sa baba, ipakukulong kita kagaya nung ginawa ko sa pulis nung isang araw. Paano mo sasabihin na 30 minutes.Punong-puno na ng text ng cellphone ko ng mga kaklase ko roon na nagsisinungaling ka raw na 30 minutes lang ang brownout. The general manager, however, explained that the brownout is not under the control of PALECO.

“I’m not lying Mr. Chair, I’m on the distribution side, meron po tayong transmission system which is not controlled by PALECO. This is owned and operated by National Power Corp. Kapag yun po ang nag shutdown, tama po ang sinasabi niyo umaabot po tayo ng five hours na interruption,” Contrivida answered.

However, Tulfo was not satisfied with the answer as he insisted on reviewing the franchise of PALECO.