DOE wants ‘permanent fix’ to Albay power utility’s hurdles
When the management of the Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) was transferred into private sector hands, the Department of Energy (DOE) thought it would end its financial and technical travails, but it was an expectation that has not happened – at least not yet.
The former employees of the electric cooperative which were offered separation packages by the concessionaire – the Albay Power and Energy Corporation (APEC) of the San Miguel Group – are still restive when it comes to their demands.
That plus other hurdles had put the utility in ‘stop-and-go’ operational set-up since the takeover of its private concessionaire. Yet apparently, the energy department wants a permanent fix to it.
From APEC’s viewpoint, it wanted to start on a ‘clean slate’ so it can comprehensively lay down solutions that could then catapult the distribution utility (DU) into a viable enterprise serving the electricity needs of its member-consumers.
For Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla, the power distribution utility would need the cooperation of its member-consumers so they can foster co-existence that will be “mutually beneficial’ to parties.
The energy chief somehow insisted that the result of the 2013 referendum on the enforced privatization of ALECO through a concession arrangement be honored.
Apart from settling the humungous outstanding liabilities of ALECO, its concessionaire APEC also planned capital outlay of P1.0 billion to improve the power utility’s infrastructure and load networks.
But given the recent hurdles of the Albay power firm which again disrupted its service to customers, Petilla noted that the DOE “will continue to monitor the situation and will maintain communication with the respective officials of the province and the APEC.”
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