Puerto Princesa City Councilor Elgin Damasco, Chairman of Committee on Energy, pushed the entry of private power distribution companies in Puerto Princesa.
According to Damasco, two of the solutions they see are privatization and division of PALECO until all areas of Palawan are provided with adequate power supply. He said that it is not true that electricity rate will increase when the power distribution company becomes private.
“Hindi totoo ang kanilang sinasabi na kapag pribado ang papasok ay posibleng magtaas [power rate]. Sa ating mga kababayan naman, nag-survey ako, nag-tanong ako, sabi nila kahit magtaas pa ng konti ‘yan ay okay lang basta tuloy-tuloy ang serbisyo.” he added during a press interview.
In relation to this, Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez during the Hearing of Committee on Energy asked the Lower House to help the Province to re-file the MORE Power bill.
“Nakikiusap po ako, tulungan niyo kami [na] maire-file ‘yung bill ng MORE Power o kung sino man ang mag-franchise, sige po, nakikiusap ako na kung maaari tulungan na po kami para matanggal na ‘yung aming bansag na Brownout Capital of the Philippines.” Alvarez said.
Some congressmen, on the other hand, stressed that “privatization is not the answer” to the power shortage of the entire Province of Palawan.
Congressman Presley De Jesus, President of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA) expressed that they will help with the electricity problem but not with privatization and he said that “you cannot privatize already a private one”.
According to PALECO, ‘proper coordination’ is needed to address the problems.
“Ang kailangan po dito, proper coordination, tama po ang suggestion kahapon [last Thursday] na from time to time ay napag-uusapan dapat, naguusap ang PALECO, ang NAPOCOR, at tsaka ‘yung power plant, ‘yung power supplier natin para kung saka-sakali na magkaroon ng trouble ang isang power plant ay ma-address ito ng ibang planta natin.”
This issue regarding Palawan’s electricity problem will continue to be discussed in the coming days at the Committee on Energy of the Congress chaired by Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Juan Miguel M. Arroyo, because according to Palawan 3rd District Rep. Gil “KabarangayJr” Acosta, many questions are still unanswered in this regard.