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PIA Press Release

Aklanons appeal to PGMA: Please keep lights on for Aklan

by Venus G. Villanueva

Kalibo, Aklan (19 June) -- Aklanons from all walks of life have issued an urgent appeal to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and National Power Corporation (NPC) President Froilan A. Tampico "to keep the lights on for the province of Aklan."

The appeal, signed by concerned Aklanons, is in the wake of recent reports that the NPC has notified the Aklan Electric Cooperative (AKELCO), supplier of electric energy to the province of Aklan and some parts of Antique, of the non-renewal of the Transition Supply Contract/Contract for the Supply of Electric Energy (TSC/CSEE) by the NPC. Due to this, by June 26, 2009, the whole 30MW electric energy covered by the contract to supply electricity to the province of Aklan will end and power shortage is inevitable.

In the urgent appeal, Aklanons said the untimely termination of the TSC/CSEE will keep the AKELCO from meeting its target to serve its member-consumers and stakeholders.

"Surely, it would also hurt both households and business establishments already struggling to survive the current economic crisis. Most importantly, we fear that the business operations in the world-famous tourist destination, the Island of Boracay, will be crippled", the Aklanons stressed in their appeal.

The appeal revealed that AKELCO can alternately source out the electric power energy definciency from the SALCON Company, an IPP which expressed its willingness to sell to AKELCO part of its generated electric energy coming from the Panay diesel Power Plant 11 in Iloilo.

However, by doing so, the appellants said there will be an increase in the cost of power that will be passed on to member-consumers and stakeholders of AKELCO.

"At present, with the existing TSC/CSEE and the electric energy generated by Global Business Power Corporation, the inclusive blended rate being charged by AKELCO is only P8.8131 per kWh. In the event that the TSC/CSEE ceases to effect and on the premise that AKELCO accepts the offer of SALCON, the power rate would shoot up to P14.00 per kWh, excluding the increase in system loss charges due to higher generation cost of SALCON Company," said the appeal.

AKELCO, according to the appeal, refuses to pass on such a prohibitive burden to its stakeholders, and will not let go of the situation without seeking a fair and just remedy in defense of its hundred thousands member-consumers and stakeholders.

"It is on this premise that we anchor our appeal to Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, to help convey our urgent message and common stand to the hierarchy of the NPC to reconsider its decision and opt for the continuity of the contract for the supply of Electric Energy entered into by AKELCO and the NPC. We hope that this appeal will merit your honorable attention and pave the way for the continuous and sustainable supply of electricity to Aklan so that Boracay, households, businesses and other establishments will continue to flourish", the appeal finally read.

The impending power supply problem in Aklan had been the subject of daily discussions in the media here for days. Provincial officials, as well as those from AKELCO, are hopeful solutions to the problem would be found soon. (PIA) [top]

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