By By Fernan A. Gianan
FICELCO takeover unlikely to change things
posted 16-Jun-2018  ·  
1,410 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

The eco-waste project involving plastic bottles filled with compacted plastic waste that the municipality of Virac initiated last year has reached Pandan.

Not only does the administration of Pandan Mayor Raul Tabirara discourage students and their parents from throwing away plastic waste but it encourages them to do so in exchange for school supplies.

Under the mayor’s Ecobrick Exchange project, a plastic-filled 1.5-liter bottle weighing about 500 grams will be worth a coupon. The coupon, in turn, can be exchanged for a pencil or ballpen (1 coupon) or a notebook (4 coupons).

The facebook post from Pandan LGU does not say where the waste-filled bottles will go.

On the other hand, the bottles that the Virac LGU collected last year through a raffle is now awaiting use in infrastructure projects including proposed loading bays in public schools. Some barangays with such bottles in their materials recovery facility have utilized them in constructing fences.

A second raffle in which the same bottles would be exchanged for raffle tickets is reportedly being planned in two or three months’ time.


Much has been said about the takeover of the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) supposedly in reaction to the clamor of member-consumers.

But credit should go to Msgr. Manolo delos Santos and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan majority. The SP, with most of its members belonging to a party friendly to a power supplier, passed a resolution calling for the NEA takeover.

On the other hand, the bishop, whose name was cited as key evidence in the libel suit filed against two Tribune writers, purportedly asked for the same takeover on behalf of the Catholic faithful.

Now that their wish has been granted, will it change the way things are being run at Marinawa? Knowledgeable persons doubt it.

About the only good that the cooperative and its 50,000 or so member-consumers can get from this drama is the recommendations of Project Supervisor Orlando Andres and his aide, Engr. Elino Desuyo regarding the power supply situation and how best to revise the Electricity Supply Agreements with power suppliers which have so far failed to deliver their contracted power.


Recently, the National Power Corporation (Napocor) publicly called on FICELCO to undergo another competitive selection process (CSP) to contract additional power and satisfy the full requirements of the island province.

It said it has been urging the cooperative to do so even before the lease of the 3.6-megawatt genset used as base load expired last October 2017.

As the Tribune has pointed out, this CSP is easier said than done for several reasons. One, considering the contracts it signed with the now-idled Catanduanes Power Generation, Inc. (CPGI) and Sunwest Water & Electric Co. (SUWECO), both failed to deliver the annual contracted power. Second, if we go by the questioned Second Amendment of the SUWECO ESA, the cooperative is mandated to inform the supplier of any deficiency in the power supply and SUWECO is obligated to provide the same.

Already, one investor interested in putting up a solar power plant has departed in frustration after being informed of this 2nd Amendment provision.

The FICELCO board would most probably proceed with the CSP but it would certainly be facing legal challenges along the way.


SPEECHEE. Seated next to a blowhard at a United Nations dinner was an Oriental fellow dressed in the robes of one of the Far Eastern countries. The blowhard, attempting to make conversation, leaned over and said: "You like soupee?"

The Oriental fellow nodded his head.

"You like steakee?"

The Oriental nodded again.

As it turned out, the guest speaker at the dinner was our Oriental friend who got up and delivered a beautiful 50-minute address on the United Nations' definition of "encouragement to self-reliance" by underdeveloped countries of the world. The speech was flawless in Oxford English.

He returned to his place at the head of the table, sat down, and turned to his dinner partner and said, "You like speechee?"

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