Albay Went Into Blackout Tuesday With Aleco Disconneted With Electric Service
It is confirmed. The whole province of Albay was disconnected of electric service when Albay Electric Cooperative was disconnected by the National Electrification Administration from its source Luzon power grid. That was the end result of failed negotiations between parties involved. On Tuesday evening, the entire province which is the coverage area of the cooperative went dark.
Received this message from our sister on Tuesday, July 30 at 6:39 P.M.: “wara na electricity supply ang whole Albay, from 12 noon today (Tuesday) until maka settle account, maray sana si generator set ko na fix pa sa motor shop.” (No more electricity here in Albay, from 12 noon Tuesday until the electric cooperative settles the account. Good thing that I had my emergency generator set fixed.)
The bankrupt cooperative has an accumulated P4 billion arrears over the past years while current bill amount to P67 million.
According to the information gathered, the disconnection is effective for about two days, during which time it will be given the chance to pay at least the P67 million it currently owe in unpaid electric bills.
It must be recalled that NEA was negotiating with the Department of Energy to stop the disconnection threats scheduled on July 22, upheld until July 28 and, finally, July 30.
Meanwhile, Governor Joey Salceda disclosed that the Department of Energy owes the province of Albay some P102 billion for geothermal power contributed to national development for the period of 34 years from the “natural” Tiwi geothermal energy.
It is indeed very ironic that the province generates geothermal energy while its residents are being deprived of the same, and even with electricty are paying higher and costlier electric bills than consumers in Metro Manila.
Ephraim de Vera of Aleco and member of Aleco Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Organization also expressed the disconnection may have something to do with the privatization to suppress other viable options.