LEGAZPI CITY, Albay, June 1, 2014 — For four days now, the entire city of Legazpi including the towns of Sto. Domingo and Manito, are still plunged into total darkness by the Albay Power Energy Corporation.
According to reports a 20-MVA power transformer of a sub-station of the electric service retailer caused power transmission to trip off at about 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, last week. A local resident described the incident hearing sound as if “there was an explosion.”
Also affected by the total blackout is the water service of the city which is also dependent on electricity.
As of this writing, business establishments and home owners are using gasoline and diesel-fired generators to restore electricity in their business operations and residential houses.
It must be recalled that the bankrupt Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) was taken over by San Miguel Electricity Corporation, the energy arm of the San Miguel Corporation in March this year, despite the long and strong opposition of concerned citizens.
San Miguel promised that SMEC is committed to assist in transforming the cooperative into an efficient and reliable power distribution utility.
During that time, APEC assured consumers that an upgrade to ALECO’s existing power sub-stations and distribution lines by substituting new equipment and clearing barriers in various distribution lines.
We have yet to hear positive words from the proponents of the takeover by the cooperative into the hands of a private operator, including the good governor of Albay, Joey Salceda on this development.
The takeover of the electric utility caused the loss of 279 employees of their jobs. APEC services 190,000 consumers in 15 towns and three cities of the province