Aleco will be reconnected to the Luzon Power grid by 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon, Wednesday, July 31, after more than 24 hours of provincial electric service blackout in Albay.
“I have ordered reconnection of Albay to the grid by 5 pm today after [the Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco] disconnected top 100 nonpaying customers,” Energy Sec Jericho Petilla said in a text message to Albay Gov Joey Salceda, who posted it on his official page on Facebook.
The downtrodden and bankrupt electric cooperative of Albay recently disconnected from the Luzon grid power source yesterday has summoned its three Area Service Center managers. The immediate task was to submit a list of 100 big ticket power consumers with unsettled accounts for immediate collection to raise more funds to pay the Philippine Electric Market Corporation.
Earlier Aleco spokesperson Hazel Morallos, said the PEMC had asked the cooperative to submit the names of 300 heavy load users that have failed to settle their outstanding accounts with the electric cooperative up to now. The list should have notation as to whether these consumers are either disconnected already or not.
On Tuesday Albay Gov. Joey S. Salceda plead with energy authorities and corporate boards to secure an immediate selective reconnection. He justified the request that a disconnection has inevitable disruptive economic impacts and bad signals on the provincial image to its national and global constituencies.
The power disconnection will continue indefinitely unless Aleco will settle its current bills with the PEMC the soonest possible time.
The provincewide blackout is now affecting some 160,000 households in the province and has gained the ire of the business community as the power blackout would carry additional burden on gainful business operation.
The Tuesday disconnection came in the heels of seven days of failed negotiations, as the debt-ridden Aleco faces a crippling P4-billion total debts plus P67 million in current electric bills.
Suffering the most during the electric service blackout in the province are small household and residential consumers that were jointly penalized with delinquent and big time power users of the cooperative.
According to Albay governor Joey Salceda, “..because the poor who share no blame are made to pay for the sins of the oppressive rich who pursue unlimited profit on the back of the ordinary working families.”(With reports from the PNA)
The stakeholders should really take a closer look at how the Nea-Aleco conjugal management runs the electric cooperative. The bankruptcy of the otherwise should be profitable electric service retailership only redounds to the fact that something very fishy, if not monkey business way of running the cooperative, should have been exposed long time ago. With power bill collections not faltering below the P100 million mark a month, there is no reason the coop can fail to pay its obligations. But with many hands dipping into the coffers of the cooperative, there is always the prospect that the hen that lays the golden egg will run dry of an egg to lay.