Dárlán Pálénciá Bárcélón


Virac, Catanduanes – [02.27.16] – The alleged rigging of the Term of Reference [ToR] submitted to the Energy Regulatory Comission [ERC] favoring the corporate interests of the private power generating companies who are  providing supplies of electricity in the island province of Catanduanes, will trigger an additional anxieties  to the already exasperated power consumers of the province.

FICELCO Ofice in Barangay Marinawa, Bato, Catanduanes

FICELCO Ofice in Barangay Marinawa, Bato, Catanduanes. File Photo The Philippine Examiner

According to a reliable source who requested anonymity has informed The Philippine Examiner on Saturday, about the bleak prospect of sourcing out  a cheaper and reasonable cost of power in Catanduanes  will never be realized as the original version of the terms of reference has been arbitrarily changed in order to suit the private interest over the member consumers of FICELCO.

The source has pointed out that the switching of the original Term of Reference [ToR] which was presented by UP Professor Wally Del Mundo. The safety nets contained in the Competitive Selection Process [CSP] was amended thus making  Sunwest Water and Electric Co., Incorporated [SUWECO] and Catanduanes Power Generation, Incorporated CPGI the run-away winners to the ERC approval.

Sans the CSP, these two power generation companies [gencos] will continue as suppliers of electricity of FICELCO and there will no new players to be tapped as a new power supplier of the electric cooperative as it was entirely substituted during the ERC hearing.

As the switching was done, the board of directors of FICELCO has favored SUWECO’s and CPGI’s corporate interests rather than its members-consumers. That is why we smell their collusion  in the rigging of the terms of reference, the source the source explained.

SUWECO Hydro Power Plant in Hitoma, Caramoran, Catanduanes. File Photo The Philippine Examiner.

SUWECO Hydro Power Plant in Hitoma, Caramoran, Catanduanes. File Photo The Philippine Examiner.

The newly approved terms of reference done by the Energy Regulatory Commission will authorize SUWECO and CPGI a liberty to enjoy their provisionary authority to apply a new power rate in the province, the source lamented.

Earlier, FICELCO was saddled by power shortages as these power producers entered an electricity supply agreement with the electric cooperative  had already failed to comply to the terms and conditions provisions in  their respective electricity supply agreements.

Just this year both CPGI and SUWECO were admonished to meet their power generation outputs after their power production have fallen far short to  their contracted energy agreement for 2015.

The power shortage was filled up by NPC,  which has produced single handedly the bulk of the 46,393,355.61 kilowatt-hours.

This is the stark contrast of CPGI’s power generation of 17.8 million kWhrs compared to its original contracted energy supply of 22.6 million kWhr, thereby incurring a shortfall of nearly 4.8 million kWhr or 21 percent, was never used as a benchmark by FICELCO against CPGI.

On the other hand, SUWECO has also incurred a deficit of 4 million kWhr by complying only the energy supply of  11 million kWhr to its contracted energy supply of 15 million kWhr.

These dismal performances of two private suppliers, despite of the perfected energy supply agreement, the distribution utility  in Catanduanes still showed their preferential treatmentto SUWECO and CPGI, while the Catandunganons are suffering poor power supplies and the stalking  power outages, because the projected 10.4 megawatts power requirements was never met.