Electricity continues to run Iloilo City with the emergency fuel delivered by Shell
SHELL DELIVERS EMERGENCY FUEL TO PPC;
ERC GRANTS PA TO PECO
By Jeehan V. Fernandez and Francis Allan L. Angelo
PRESSURES from local and national officials averted a disastrous blackout in Iloilo City today after Pilipinas Shell delivered emergency fuel to Panay Power Corporation (PPC) yesterday.
Shell made the delivery “without payment” to PPC as it was pressured by local and national Ilonggo leaders.
Mayor Jerry Treñas confirmed the delivery after receiving a call from oil firm’s manager here.
The emergency fuel will keep PPC running for four days.
Also, Department of Energy sources said the National Power Corporation (Napocor), through its own fuel supplier, will deliver 15-days worth of bunker fuel to PPC.
If the arrangement pushes through, the combined amount of fuel from Shell and Napocor will keep PPC running until January 4, 2006.
Aside from Treñas, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. and his son Iloilo City Rep. Raul Gonzalez Jr., and Governor Niel Tupas Sr. also burned the lines to compel the national government to help solve the city’s energy crisis.
Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla earlier vowed that no blackout will hit Iloilo City.
Also, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) came out with a provisional authority (PA) allowing Panay Electric Company (Peco) to charge its consumer P6.5121/kwh which will be used to pay the actual cost of power generated by PPC.
The ERC said the PA “will mean cash flow alleviation to Peco and PPC for it will address their financial concerns.”
The said amount in the PA is broken down to P1.25/kwh for operating and maintenance cost, P4.9121 for fuel cost which is the actual as of October 2005 and P.35/kwh for interest expense on debt.
Aside from the temporary charges, the ERC also ordered Peco to interconnect with the Cebu-Negros-Panay power grid to avoid future recurrence of energy crisis
The energy crisis in Iloilo City began after PPC suffered from financial problems brought about by the reduction in Peco’s charges due to the unbundling of rates under the Electric Power Industry Act.
“We finally avert the looming power outage in the city,” Treñas said.
Earlier, the mayor said that “we have assurance from Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure there is no power disruption.”
“The PPC is also working within limits so that there would be no power interruptions anymore of power generation,” Treñas said.
The mayor also discussed with Lotilla the inadequate power supply scenario in the city.
Treñas added the city will be looking into the adjustment in electricity rates as well as long-term solutions to address the looming power crisis.
“We are not in the state of panic. I had instructed the police to increase visibility with the support of barangay tanods to ensure the security of everyone’s lives and properties if ever there is power failure,” he clarified. (Published in The Guardian, December 16-18, 2005 issue)