A Certain Darkness

The messy truth in the privatization of the Albay Electric Cooperative [ALECO] has now surfaced after as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines has issued a power supply disconnection letter, to Albay Power and Energy Corporation [APEC] that the power supply in the entire province of Albay will be cut on December 22, 2016.

The organized protests some three years ago, opposing the privatization has proven right – that a private concessionaire can not stop threats of disconnection, and will fail the delivery of efficient, reliable and affordable power rate in Albay.

What are the proofs to these messes?

Arbitrary pricing of electricity rates without Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval, labor contractualization, flawed billing and so on – now the disconnection.

The proponents of the Cooperative to Cooperative were defeated as one of viable solution due to political interventions, and has fallen to the deaf ears of the government technocrats, inside the Department of Energy and the National Electrification Administration under the PNoy dispensation.

They opted the privatization of the utility distributor and they awarded it to Albay Power and Energy Corporation [APEC] – through a sham referendum and unratified concession agreement.

The conspirators [clerico-politico-cacique] has prevailed on their pre-meditated  plan to award the consession agreement to San Miguel Global Power Holdings Corporation called, Albay Power and Energy Corporation [APEC], despite of legal infirmities.

The foul odor of the “devil’s dung” so to speak, is now reeking up to high heavens as the notice of disconnection was served. The “devil’s dung” is a concrete manifestation of APEC’s corporate lies – as it deliberately ignored to pay ALECO’s outstanding debt to the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation [PEMC] and Wholesale Electricity Spot Market  [WESM].

This promise – was part and parcel of the TOR [terms of reference] for a concession agreement, just to justify the privatization of ALECO.

At present APEC is saddled with PhP2.1 billion debts and keep ballooning. As the almost one half of 187 thousand member-consumers refuses to pay – due to questionable billings and the sudden increase in the power rate sans ERC approval, has exacerbated the consumers acceptance of the flawed management.

Majority of these consumers who refused to pay are residential member-consumers – and APEC’s collection efficiency went down to the drain, to the tune of 36% collection efficiency. The people’s resistance is justified.

The looming disconnection has triggered the Albayanos to ask questions on what contingency plans will government is planning to avert the inevitable darkness?

How will be the contingency plan will going to address the long term solution that will guarantee a reliable, efficient power supply in Albay amid this threat?

To those who dipped their fingers and responsible in railroading the dubious concession agreement and shamelessly endorsed the Private Sector Participation, do you have the Solomonic solution to force APEC to fulfill their promises under the term of reference to bail out ALECO’s indebtedness?

Will the clerico-politico-cacique who rallied behind the privatization will be dancing and singing in unison once again their favorite camp fire song – “Kumbaya” that privatization is the answer when Albay is engulfed with darkness?