EDITORIAL: PALECO privatization: Yes or No?

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PALECO says no to privatization as House Bill 8829, authored by Representative Frederick Abueg and Representative Gil Acosta, was filed in Congress paving the way for the takeover of MORE Reedback Corporation.

HB No. 8829, once turned into a law, will award the Corporation a franchise to establish, operate and maintain a distribution system of electric power to the end-users of Palawan.

But this is sternly opposed by PALECO arguing that it has 10 years more to operate the distribution system.

Engr. Nelson Lalas, PALECO Acting General Manager, disagreed arguing, “The same line ang gagamitin nila, linya ng PALECO. Nagbago lang ang management pero the same instrument, the same venue; tumaas lang ang kuryente.”

The incessant blackout and power interruptions could be attributed by trees tripping the power lines—including a controversial gecko that recently caused outage in certain parts of the City—and a problem with power generator and supplier.

But Engineer Lalas announced that PALECO has committed to further improve its services to the consumers.

In November 2018, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte decreed that the frequent and long power outages and interruption in this island province should stop. He warned that should the problem remain unsolved the government will expropriate the franchise of PALECO and new “big players” will come in if blackouts still happen by the end of 2018.

But, many ask, should PALECO be privatized, who will ultimately benefit? For others, they are skeptical as this may result to higher power rates to burden the consumers. Others opine that all they want, as end-users, is to have an uninterrupted cheaper power supply.

Business sectors—especially the micro, small and medium enterprises—are the ones directly hit by these never-ending power interruptions, as they are losing a lot of revenues. And the community members will endure a lot of inconveniences in their households.

Thus the question in everyone’s mind now is of given the chance that MORE Reedbank Corporation will take over PALECO, will there be no more blackouts and power interruptions? Will power be cheap or as cheap as the current rates?

For PALECO, it is now a high time for it to raise its bar and improve its services. And with dispatch.

All we want is an uninterrupted reasonably-priced power supply.

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