UNAHIN ANG KAPAKANAN NG MAMAMAYAN: City mayor asks Crown to pay WMPC to stop blackouts

power grid

Zamboanga Mayor Beng Climaco has stepped in to stop the rotating blackouts plaguing the city of Zamboanga

In a letter she addressed to Crown Investment Holdings Inc. President Atty. Josephy Omar Castillo, she noted that the quickest solution to stop the blackouts and service the residents is for Crown to settle the outstanding payments owed to Western Mindanao Power Corp. (WMPC)

Climaco noted that the current power situation of the city is affecting its role in trade and commerce, as well as in national security.

“While we support the Investment Management Contract and laud your commitment to pump in PHP 2.5 billion into Zamcelco, we can no longer tolerate the rotating blackouts,” she said in the letter.

She added that this issue should be settled in the proper courts of law.

“Our people cannot suffer further. We have been paying our monthly bills and we see no reason why we are made to suffer the consequences of the electric cooperative’s refusal to pay WMPC,” Climaco said.

Residents of Zamboanga have been experiencing power outages since February 21 due to financial issues between the generating company WMPC and distributor Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco), which is now being handled by Crown as awarded by an Investment Management Contract.

WMPC said it cannot generate electricity as it has run out of fuel due to Zamcelco’s refusal to pay outstanding balances of more than P 300 million. WMPC has been sending demand letters since January.

Crown claimed they were still reviewing previous and current invoices when they received the demand letters.

However, WMPC has told the council that they did not receive any response from Crown until February 1, when the company said they could not generate any electricity due to not being able to procure any fuel.