Fix power outages or be replaced, says Duterte to PALECO

Alsons Power Group seeks DOE help to connect power project to grid

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo announced plans to tap more competent entities if Palawan’s energy cooperative could not provide solutions to the frequent power disruptions within the year.

“On the possibility of Chinese electricity producers in Palawan, its entry is merely a business matter owing to their technical knowhow on power outages,” Panelo was quoted as saying in a Manila Bulletin report.

“All projects, whether proposed by domestic or foreign entities, shall undergo strict legal processes before any approval is given by the government,” he added.

Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) was given until the end of the year to fix the power outages in the province or be replaced by another major energy player.

President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to seize the franchise of PALECO and turn it over to another power cooperative that will do a better job in solving the power outages.

He added that Chinese power companies were interested in power distribution in the province.

“You’ll have to upgrade your source of energy. Kasi ‘pag hindi, ang gawain ko maghanap ako ng may pera talaga. China, eh nangangati ang kamay niyan eh just to get hold of developments here. [Because if not, I will find one with funds. China has been itching to get hold of developments here],” he said during his visit to Puerto Princesa City last Saturday.

“I will expropriate your franchise. Bilihin ko ‘yan [I will buy it] well, at a valuation that is fair. Just compensation kung ganun lang dito, to end this — almost an impasse,” he added.

Duterte said it is not acceptable to have six to eight hours of power outages in Palawan, pointing out that such outages would affect the province’s development.

He said he is arranging a meeting with the Palawan’s local government officials to talk about the energy concerns in the province.