DAVAO CITY Oct. 12 (PIA)- The Department of Energy (DOE) is trying to solve the power woes being experienced by residents and resort owners of the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS).
IGaCoS is being served by Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO) however the island is being bogged by frequent power outages caused by a damaged underwater power transmission cable.
IGaCoS consists of Samal and Talikud islands along with smaller islets and is a major tourism destination in Davao Region.
The management rivalry in DANECO where the cooperative was split by factions belonging to DANECO-CDA (Cooperative Development Authority) and the DANECO-NEA (National Electrification Administration) has affected services to the three major areas of DANECO; parts of Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and IGaCoS and also contributed to its indebtedness to power suppliers.
The dispute ended when NEA took over the ailing power cooperative thru Task Force Duterte- Northern Davao Power.
"We asked them if they could waive the certain areas, instead of waiving the areas what the task force proposed was separate area manager for Comval, a separate area manager for Davao del Norte and another for IGaCoS." Department of Energy Undersecretary Felix Fuentebella said.
However Fuentebella said IGaCoS is different as the area is connected by a underwater cable which was damaged and where DANECO was not able to respond quickly. The result is the woes being experienced by its consumers in the area.
"We are trying to find a way kung puwede deemed ma-waive pa rin yun (if it can be waived) so that the private sector can come in," he said.
Among the options included putting up a generator, setting up an entire new system which would become a qualified third party or attach it to another power utility firm like the Davao Light and Power Company which the islanders are clamoring.
Another option would be an independent system for resorts and homes but still interconnected as to maximize their capacity.
Fuentebella said that DANECO did not waive the IGaCoS area as they can still fix the power supply situation. He said DANECO has submitted a timeline for DOE to check.
"I have asked our Mindanao Field Office to finalize within the month what is the timeline of DANECO," Fuentebella said.
The energy undersecretary said the timeline would need a substantial amount of money to address the power situation of the island.
Fuentebella said if DANECO could not adddress the power situation it is deemed a waiver on their right to keep the area under their franchise.
He said Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi wants those franchises which can't provide the right services to their areas deemed waived and it is within the power of the DOE to open the area to the private sector or if no private sector the DOE can order National Power Corporation to supply power to the underserved area.
"Secretary Cusi wants us to have that power to hasten the provision of services to unserved and underserved areas like the one in IGaCoS," Fuentebella added. (PIA/RG Alama)