PRRD asked to probe power outages
posted 8-Jul-2018  ·  
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A local partner of a global anti-corruption group has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to conduct an immediate investigation into the recurrent brownouts in the province of Catanduanes and to impose sanctions against the culpable parties.

In a letter sent to Malacañang last June 20, 2018, Horacio Villarete, who describes himself as a working partner of Transparency International, requested the President to dispatch personnel from the Presidential Complaints & Investigation Office (PCIO) to the island and verify the complaint.

He also asked Malacañang to direct the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to leave the operation of the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) to its local management and board of directors.

According to Villarete, an initial complaint had been sent to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) but to no avail, hence the plea for presidential intervention.

He alleged that the current power suppliers were deceptive in informing the public that power will be sufficient in the dry months despite their negligence in rehabilitating or putting into operation the gensets and mini-hydro power plants.

The claim of the National Power Corporation on the sufficiency of power on the island, he said, is an exaggeration considering that it failed to repair the new 1.1-megawatt diesel genset and its failure to operate the idled 3.6-MW diesel genset.

On the other hand, Villarete said, Sunwest Water & Electricity Co. (SUWECO) failed to accomplish the Hitoma 2 minihydroelectric power plant in Caramoran and the Capipian hydro in San Miguel. Had these power plants been functional,  the power outages could have been averted, he stated.

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