City government files civil case against PALECO

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Photo credit: Mike Escote
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Led by the City Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron, the city government of Puerto Princesa lodged a civil case against Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) amidst power interruptions in the city before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Brgy. Sta Monica, Monday, June 24.

The civil lawsuit was filed to mandatorily require the cooperative to take actions to address the power problems in the city.

“’ Yun pong finile natin, isinampa ng city government through Mayor Bayron, and of course the people of Puerto Princesa is a complaint for mandatory injuction. That is to compel PALECO and its members of the board to perform, to perform ‘no, to take action to address the problem and solve it,” said Atty. Arnel Pedrosa, City Administrator and Legal Counsel.

The complaint is addressed to the cooperative: PALECO’s Chairman of the Board, Jeffrey Y. Tan-Endriga; Directors/ members of the board, Maylene D. Ballares, Moises R. Arzaga, Marrieta S. Seratubias, Julieta C. Magbanua, Rodolfo D. Garcedon, Rodantes C. Onda Sr., Nicolas P. Contreras, and Atty. Raymund U. Acosta; and Engr. Nelson A. Lalas as the Acting General Manager of PALECO.

Bayron said consumers have the rights to receive continuous power and PALECO as the power distributor has the obligation to deliver it.

“’Yung mga consumers … ay mayroong karapatan na tumanggap ng tuloy-tuloy na daloy ng kuryente. ‘Yung PALECO, mayroon obligasyon na i-deliver ito,” said Bayron during his speech during the City Hall’s flag raising ceremony.

The city government conducted a two-day signature campaign from June 22-23 in Puerto Princesa to gather the support of the residents for the case against the cooperative.

Bayron also added that the power outages affect not just the residents but also the establishments and businesses that affect the economy of the city of Puerto Princesa which damages may total up to millions.

“Malaki ang nawawala sa city government, sa lahat ng establishments, sa buong economy ng Puerto Princesa affected masyado. Siguro kung ililista natin lahat ang mga nawawala sa atin dahil sa mga unannounced brownouts na ‘yan, maghahalaga ng milyon, milyon, milyon talaga,” Bayron added.

The city government is not planning to call for another appearance of PALECO to explain the reasons and the actions to address the power problems in the city.

“We already filed the case, sagutin nalang po nila ‘yung kaso, doon nalang po natin pagusapan,” Pedrosa said.

On the other hand, the city government had enough of PALECO’s reasons on the power interruptions in the city which PALECO seemed to fail to address.

“It’s the same story over and over again ano? Tuwing pinapatawag, hindi naman problema ‘yung supply kasi may oversupply. Ang nagiging problema is sa transmission at sa distribution … this (power interruptions) has been going on for many many years so kaya ang nakakainis bakit hindi parin nasosolusyunan … it’s really becoming very annoying so parang its useless na ipatawag pa ulit ano, dahil ‘yun narin ang talagang story nila (PALECO). Ang tanong, bakit hindi ninyo ginagawaan ng remedyo, alam niyo na ‘to dati dati pa many years ago na ito, hanngang ngayon wala paring solusyon,” said incoming Vice Mayor, City Councilor Nancy Socrates.

The city government asked the appearance of PALECO, National Power Corporation (NPC) and the three independent power providers (IPPs) namely Delta P, Palawan Power generation Incorporated (PPGI) and DMCI Power Corporation, or the “power family” in the Palawan grid to discuss the problems that cause the power outages during the 143rd Regular Session of the City Council last June 3. During the session, the power family discussed the problems causing the power interruptions which are mainly line-clearing and animals.

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