WALANG CLOSURE: Zamboanga City continues to suffer blackouts despite NEA intervention

power service

Zamboanga City continues to suffer from blackouts due to the ongoing dispute between Crown Holdings Investment Inc. and Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) despite the intervention of the National Electrification Administration (NEA).  

NEA met with the two groups in response to the Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s order but was unable to come into agreement to solve the ongoing power crisis.

During the meeting on April 3 this year, WMPC said they are ready to immediately supply power to the city once Crown undertakes the steps mandated by both the Power Supply Agreement and the law, which are: ensure the timely payment of Zamcelco’ s outstanding debt amounting to over ₱ 460 million in order to ensure optimal operations and an adequate supply of fuel for the WMPC plant; recognize the existing Power Sales Agreement (PSA) between ZAMCELCO and WMPC which has been the contract in effect between both parties since December of 2015; nominate power from Zamcelco which is a requirement in order for the WMPC plant to dispatch power to the electric cooperative.  

In a press statement released to Power Philippines, WMPC said Crown had refused to meet the conditions stated by the terms, making it “impossible” for WMPC to resume its operations and supply the city with electricity.

“We are left to wonder what has become of the more that ₱ 460 million paid by consumers and not used to pay the producer of the power — WMPC,” the statement said.

After Crown was awarded the Investment Management Contract (IMC) for Zamcelco,  Zamboanga City began to experience daily rotating blackouts up to six hours, resulting in disruption of economic, commercial, and security processes in the city.

Crown had withheld payment of P 460 million worth of Zamcelco’s debt to WMPC, which resulted in the latter failing to supply power in Zamboanga starting from February 4 over depleting resources.

Power Philippines has reach out to NEA for comment, however, they cannot be reached.

The publication has also been unable to find contact information for Crown Investments to ask for comment.

This is a developing story.