The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) declared in a press conference Saturday, November 13, that privatizing it will not solve the frequent blackouts on the island and that electricity charges will tremendously increase.
PALECO OIC MSD Manager Napoleon Cortes Jr. explained that if a private company replaces PALECO, it will only be taking over the distribution sector. The other half of the equation when it comes to energy, which are the generation and the transmission sectors or the one that produces electricity and brings it to what is PALECO today, which is the distribution utility, will remain under the government’s management and might still be problematic.
He also discussed key points during his speech and emphasized that the power rates paid by the consumers now will skyrocket if the distribution utility is privatized as the new entity will be profit-oriented. He added that taxes imposed on the distributor will be passed on to the consumers, too.
There is also a big possibility that in areas where consumption is low or there are few consumers, electricity will be cut off as it will not bring profit to the private company. This runs counter, he asserted, to the dream of PALECO of complete electrification of the entire island province.
The electric cooperative also said that in a year the standard loss of electricity per household is 3,375 minutes and given the circumstances they are still within the limit set by government regulators and that the supplier is also improving.
Recently, PALECO urged the residents to sign a petition for the electric cooperative to stay as the power distributor after President Rodrigo Duterte’s bold statement during his visit on November 4, 2021, of taking the distribution away from them or privatize it as the problem of partial and complete blackout is still a common occurrence in Palawan.