Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

700,000 in Maguindanao, S. Kabunsuan may lose electricity

COTABATO CITY, Philippines--Beginning 12 noon Monday, about 700,000 power consumers in Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan provinces will have no electricity if the National Power Corp. makes good its threat to cut off power due to arrears in power bills amounting to P136 million.

Maido Wawa, president and board chair of the Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (Magelco), said Napocor has notified Magelco of the power service stoppage but said the cooperative was addressing the issue.

"We have massive collections to avert [a] power cut," Wawa told reporters.

Magelco serves power consumers in Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan, two component provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Engr. Norie Unas, Maguindanao provincial government spokesperson, said Gov. Andal Ampatuan has been talking to Magelco officials to help address the problem.

"We are doing something to avert the power cut," Unas told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.

"Upon orders of Governor Ampatuan, we are asking institutional consumers to settle their obligations with Magelco," Unas said.

Institutional consumer refers to local governments that have huge payables to Magelco.

"It's the concern of everybody, especially LGUs, because they have huge obligations to Magelco payable to Napocor," he said.

Unas learned that Magelco's collectibles continue to pile on top of system loss and non-payment by residential consumers.

Pilferage is another problem facing Magelco.

"But the chunk of the collectibles are from LGUs," Unas said, without identifying the concerned local governments.

Maguindanao has 24 municipalities while Shariff Kabunsuan has 11 towns served by Magelco.
Mamogkat Salman, a power consumer in Parang, Shariff Kabunsuan, said Napocor's decision to cut power is unfair to them who regularly pay their power bills.

He urged Magelco officials to address the problem with political will so as not to cause inconvenience to consumers.

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