Datu Odin, Sinsuat, Maguindanao—The province’s lone electric cooperative has created Task Force Balik-Liwanag to speed up power restoration works in six first district towns.
Engineer Sultan Ashary Maongco, general manager of the 43-year-old Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (Magelco), said the countdown to a graduated power restoration started Oct. 22, when its supplier scheduled warehouse delivery of a 10 mega-volt-amphere (MVA) power transformer from Quezon City to the Port of Manila.
But even prior to this, Maongco said construction of a steel tower platform had commenced in time for the delivery of the new 10 MVA transformer and accessories on Oct. 29.
He said in the timeline of Magelco’s two-year rehabilitation and upgrading development plan, a new phase in Maguindanao’s energization program will roll onwards from Oct. 31.
Maongco said to restore power and light up more households in Parang, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Matanog and Barira towns, the Simuay Substation will be upgraded, “similar to our RSK (Rajah Silungan Kudarat) Substation in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.”
He said Magelco’s Task Force Balik-Liwanag has been rushing up on the delivery of materials to be on time for its installation in Simuay before October ends.
But Maongco explained that the second leg of the delivery route was scheduled yet on Friday when the transformer would be shipped out on a cargo vessel in a three-day roll-on, roll-off voyage from Manila to General Santos City.
Maongco said installation of potential transformers with SF6 protective circuit breaker will follow, “along with the mounting of reclosers and the construction of new lines for the secondary side.”
Maongco then appealed to local consumers with outstanding unpaid electric bills to settle their accounts, and avail of an individual debt “restructuring agreement” that Magelco is offering to consumers in its service areas.
Previously, Magelco warned of widespread and frequent power outages in the province if consumers failed to come to terms with the heavily indebted cooperative.
Maongco said on Thursday that the whole of Maguindanao could experience total darkness if the electric cooperative fails to pay P27 million to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., and P9.7 million to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in monthly debt repayment installments, before the end of October.
Maongco said Magelco owed the National Power Corp. some P30 million in unpaid power purchases in the past, which over years of incurring increments from interest rates, hds balooned to about P 1.5 billion to date.
He said a way to prevent such a situation would be to upgrade two substations with high-end step-up transformers.
Maongco said prevention moves were at best doable, if dormant and delinquent accounts among local power consumers were settled, to enable Magelco to service on old bad debts.
Now, the cooperative’s debt servicing has been inherited from Napocor by the PSAM as its new creditor, under Republic Act 9136, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.
EPIRA has created PSALM, a government-owned and controlled corporation, which has taken over all generational assets of the Napocor.
Maongco said some P 23 milion in Magelco’s average monthly collections from local power consumers would have to be augmented with a bank loan program to cover up for the shortfall, mainly caused by delinquent consuners’ accounts.
He called on the province’s power consumers to come to terms with Magelco through a restructuring agreement on having to pay individual debts in household accounts.