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Napocor opts for interim power supply provision for Catanduanes.

State-run National Power Corporation (Napocor) has indicated that it will just be supplying the power needs of Catanduanes on interim basis until its servicing power utility could finally advance its privatization program to a successful finish.

In a statement to the media, the power firm emphasized that "its continuing presence in the province is just a temporary measure until full privatization is realized."

NPC noted that if First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative (FICELCO) had been successful in its invitation for private sector power suppliers, the blackouts tormenting its customers should have been avoided.

Nevertheless, NPC vice president for Small Power Utilities Group Danilo Sedilla affirmed last week that their company already awarded a contract to Monark Equipment for the lease of new 2.8 megawatts of generating sets to be deployed to Catanduanes to replace existing gensets in the area.

Catanduanes has been in the roll of first wave areas which NPC had subjected to privatization - in terms of cornering their supply arrangements with private power providers, yet apparently, it did not work out well as expected for FICELCO's service area.

NPC's band-aid measure will temporarily ease predicaments of power interruptions in the area, but Catanduanes is seen still far off into having long-term power supply solutions.

In a separate press statement, FICELCO has chided government for lack of action on their plea for power supply fix, noting that the rotating brownouts reaching extreme durations of up to 20 hours were already hurting businesses and major cause of public dismay.

FICELCO general manager Samuel V. Laynes said his office "is now being flooded with complaints because the constant power problem is already taking its toll on businesses and peace and order in the province."

He stressed that "establishments in Catanduanes are really suffering because of these power outages, especially the tourism facilities, schools, restaurants, ice cream parlors and frozen food retailers."

The utility firm thus elevated its appeal to Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla as well as Malacanang, purportedly for immediate intervention so the problem can be provided with stop-gap measures.

FICELCO wanted the Department of Energy to direct NPC in addressing power supply problems, qualifying further that "even the provincial government of Catanduanes has recognized the damaging impact of the rotating brownouts when it recently declared a state of emergency."


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Title Annotation:Business News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jul 14, 2014
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