In a bold move to help solve the persisting power problem in Zamboanga, Mayor Beng Climaco together with City Administrator Apple Go met with Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi last Friday as she reiterated her demand for the electric cooperative to provide the city with uninterrupted power supply 24/7.
The meeting in Manila was held at the behest of President Rodrigo Duterte who, upon Climaco’s pleading, directed the Department of Energy to prioritize Zamboanga’s power concerns the soonest possible time.
Climaco said President Duterte in a phone conversation has assured his commitment to help solve the power crisis in the city. “Since Mindanao is under Martial law, security is of utmost importance,” she quoted the president as saying. It was also during that phone conversation that the President recalled Climaco’s request for help on the city’s power situation as early as 2013 when the latter visited Davao City.
During the meeting Cusi has reiterated his directives to agencies under the DOE to simultaneously exhaust means to put an end to the Zamboanga power crisis. The National Electrification Authority (NEA) was tasked to expedite the resolution of the Zamcelco/Crown-WMPC standoff that has led to the erratic power supply since February while the Energy Regulatory Commission was urged to look into power rates and ensure affordable power for the residents.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) on the other hand, was tasked to closely look into the low voltage/power fluctuation issues confronted by Zamboanga consumers.
The agenda also covered the need for the Zamcelco/Crown to call for an annual general membership assembly (AGMA) and the possibility of changing the composition of the present Board of Directors. The current board is serving on an interim capacity and two of the directors have assumed membership in the House of Congress.
Climaco described the meeting as very fruitful and stressed “the message of Sec. Cusi is that they will help us resolve this power issue.” “We agreed to work closely to demand continuous and affordable electricity from Zamcelco/Crown,” she added. (Sheila Covarrubias)