The Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) has mobilized its generator sets as the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) started to curtail its power supply to Zamcelco yesterday afternoon.
Early on, Zamcelco Spokesman Ferdie Rodriguez told the press briefing that Zamcelco was ready to address the power shortage as a result of the curtailment by WMPC.
Rodriguez said the public’s apprehension of rotational blackouts in the city came after the WMPC had issued an ultimatum to Zamcelco to settle its total past due accounts of P235 million on or before Jan. 31, 2019, otherwise WMPC will be constrained to temporarily suspend the power supply to Zamcelco on Feb. 4.
In response, Zamcelco, now being managed by the joint venture of Crown Investment Holdings Inc. and DESCO Inc., said the investor-manager has decided to subject all existing power supply contracts and pending invoices from power suppliers to internal review, pursuant to the Investment Management Contract dated Aug. 29, 2019.
Chief Management Officer Henry Rophen Virola in a letter to WMPC claimed that upon review “there is an indication that Zamcelco may have over-paid WMPC as a result of an over-billing in past invoices, specifically with regard to capacity recovery fee and fixed operation and maintenance fees.” Thus the need for more extensive review of documents and circumstances with respect to the transactions.
As this developed, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, officer-in-charge of the City Mayor’s Office, and City Administrator Apple Go called a meeting of the officials of both Zamcelco and WMPC yesterday afternoon in the mayor’s office in an attempt to settle the issue.
During the said meeting, the officials of both agencies have reached certain agreements but subject to the approval of their respective higher-ups in Manila. In the meantime, the power curtailment by WMPC continues until further advice by higher management.-(Vic Larato)