Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, now under an investment management contract with Crown investments Holdings Inc. and Desco Inc., wants Western Mindanao Power Corp. to refund alleged over-billing amounting to P441 million.
Joshua Gilbert Paraiso, counsel of the joint venture, said the refund to consumers was contained in Zamcelco’s application with the Energy Regulatory Commission.
“Zamcelco requested ERC to refund the over-billed account of P440 million,” Paraiso said. The disputed amount covers the period of November 26, 2015 to December 25, 2018.
Zamcelco has also sought approval with the ERC to withdraw from the power supply agreement with WMPC.
WMPC suspended its supply of power to Zamboanga City within days of Zamcelco’s notice of alleged over-billing, causing two to three-hour daily power interruptions in Zamboanga City.
Zamcelco claimed the PSA with WMPC was not yet in effect, but the supplier proceeded to bill and secure payments from the cooperative.
Zamcelco noted that not all the prerequisites of PSA had been met.
Joseph Omar Castillo, representative of the consortium, said the power supplier charged Zamcelco for a fixed capacity of 50 megawatts even when usage was below 25 MW a month. He said WMPC should not have charged the capacity recovery and fixed operations and maintenance fees that resulted in the over-billing.
Zamcelco claimed that monthly power demand had not exceeded a daily average of 25 MW, or only half of the contracted capacity that was used as the basis for WMPC’s charges.
Zamcelco said its overpayments were also bigger than WMCP’s demanded amount of P348.75 million.