The Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (Magelco) will resort to drastic move to compel member-consumers into regularly paying their monthly electric bills so that the cooperative can pay its debts.
Ashary P. Maongco, Magelco general manager, said the cooperative has no other recourse but to implement a power shutdown unless member-consumers settle their obligation with the power distributor.
“Only 16,000 out of the 47,000 member-consumers or 34 percent are regularly paying their monthly electric bills,” Maongco said in a statement, adding this has caused the cooperative to default on its obligations to Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation.
Maongco, who has been the Magelco general manager for the past five years, said they managed to fix the daily 8-12 hours rotational blackout that the province had experienced for three years before his assumption.
Back then, PSALM only allocated Magelco a measly 2.75-megawatt (MW) monthly power supply allocation. This was eventually increased to 24 MW a month when he took over, he added.
“Recently, I signed a 10-MW contract with PSALM,” he said, making the monthly allocation for Maguindanao to 34 MW. He did not say the specific power requirement for Maguindanao.
Maongco said in 2015, Magelco had an outstanding debt of PHP1 billion with PSALM and PHP123 million with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
“The debt with NGCP had been resolved with the cooperative paying PHP9 million a month, while with PSALM, the current financial consideration of our payment applies only to the interests and other charges,” he said.
Despite having huge debts, Maongco said Magelco has to augment its power sub-stations for another 20 MWs due to the rising demand for putting up new projects at a cost of about PHP50 million.
“Still, we owed PHP25 million to our suppliers, and an additional amount of PHP15 million for our metering project and other upgrading programs,” he said. With this, Maongco issued an appeal to member-consumers. “
“I am appealing for your kind understanding and indulgence that we will implement the 70-30 restructuring scheme,” he said, adding that Magelco will also resort to shutting down every distribution transformer.
Maongco said power would only be restored if at least 70 percent of the connected consumers pay their outstanding bill or enter into a restructuring agreement.
“The 30 percent or remaining consumers who will ignore the redistributing scheme will be disconnected,” he warned, adding they will begin cutting power supply for delinquent customers beginning December 9. (PNA)