DoE assures power stability in Palawan and Iloilo

By Alena Mae S. Flores – January 06, 2019 at 07:10 pm

The Department of Energy said it will ensure uninterrupted power supply in Iloilo City and Palawan province as it deals with electric cooperatives that supply electricity to these areas.

Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said Palawan Electric Cooperative, which supplies electricity to Palawan, already submitted plans to the department which are under review.

“Paleco submitted their plans which I signed and referred to the Power Bureau for review,” Fuentebella said.

Mario Marasigan, director of the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, said the National Electrification Administration, assigned a new general manager for Paleco.

“We required them to submit a Transmission Development Plan to see the actual situation in Palawan. Depending on the submission of the TDP, we will decide whether to push through with our instruction for NPC (National Power Corp.) to provide services for the El Nido area in terms of the generation and wires,” Marasigan said.

Marasigan said that for the rest of Palawan, the department was looking at enhancements of substations.

“We will also review their power supply agreements (PSAs).  We have already initiated discussions with them to include in their TDP their power supply procurement program and the review,” he said.

Marasigan said Paleco’s power situation was due to “line problems” and not lack of generation capacity. Paleco is the lone power distributor in Puerto Princesa City and 18 municipalities, serving 137,277 consumers as of June 2018.

“The common causes of problems in Palawan is apparently the lines and substations, not insufficient supply. In fact, they have oversupply in terms of PSAs. For transmission, there is constraint in the substations,” he said.

Marasigan said El Nido, Taytay, San Vicente had problems with transmission interconnection, which would be fixed by 2019 as programmed by Napocor-Small Power Utilities Group.

Marasigan said that in the case of Iloilo City, More Electric Power Corp.’s franchise passed third reading in both houses of Congress.

“It has not been signed by the president…Supposedly it was endorsed before the closure of the session. But we do not have a copy and we cannot confirm if it was transmitted,” he said.

He said the Senate version set a two-year transmission period “that will ensure continuous distribution services within Iloilo City.”

Marasigan said that during the transition period, Panay Electric Cooperative would continue to serve Iloilo City. Peco’s franchise is due to expire this month.

“During the transition, there will be negotiation as far as the use of facilities…It would be hard without the transition. It’s going to be an abrupt change,” he said.