“PENELCO must improve its services in no time to regain member consumers’ trust by minimizing the ridiculous scheduled and unscheduled power interruptions”
People are awaiting feedback from the Department of Energy which said it was “verifying” the cause of the forced outages in Luzon last week.
A DOE team was to conduct “actual physical spot checks and validate the condition of the transmission lines and affected power plants” following the widespread brownouts.
This is no less than disconcerting news in view of the country’s post-pandemic recovery efforts in which access to electricity is a salient necessity.
At least four provinces experienced power interruptions – Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Pampanga, and Zambales – as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines placed the Luzon grid under red alert on September 12.
DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla assured the public there was no fuel supply constraint in connection with the “simultaneous forced outages” of several power plants.
My good friend Sec. Lotilla told the President he is not happy, just like anyone else, with these constant power outages nationwide. He vowed to do something to stop these series of brownouts in the provinces.
Very clearly, one of the priorities of the administration of President Bongbong Marcos is the electrification of all inhabited areas of the country, particularly agricultural communities.
In his interviews before and after his overwhelming election victory, he consistently emphasized the importance of providing electricity to every Filipino family in this day and age of digital technology.
It is a shame that some entities in the business of distributing electricity have performed poorly instead of meeting the electrification challenge of PBBM.
One entity that has failed miserably in fulfilling its mandate is the Peninsula Electric Cooperative (PENELCO), which holds the franchise to operate in the province of Bataan until the year 2040.
There have been mounting complaints from member-consumers against PENELCO over recurrent brownouts which disrupt people’s livelihood, businesses and other activities of daily life.
One member-consumer engaged in tourism promotion told me that power interruptions have been more frequent than internet connection interruptions.
How can one provide satisfactory tourism services at Bataan’s historic sites without electricity?
Apparently, PENELCO has provided “the usual reasons” for the power outages, such as trip service lines stricken by lightning and line clearing and tree-planting.
Unfortunately, PENELCO’s excuses cannot justify the adverse effects of the brownouts on Bataan’s eco-tourism, as well as the agro-industries of the province with over 854,000 population.
The electric cooperative’s perennial dismal performance merely tends to duplicate its predecessor BATELCO’s aggravation of the member-consumers.
PENELCO must improve its services in no time to regain member consumers’ trust by minimizing the ridiculous scheduled and unscheduled power interruptions.
The electric cooperative must prove itself worthy of its franchise by upgrading the maintenance of its poles, service lines and substations to keep intact the flow and steady supply of electricity in all areas.
Its board of directors must realize that if this trend continues, all its previous accomplishments would be meaningless.
Clearly, PENELCO must shape up and get its act together or relinquish its franchise.