North Cotabato brownouts irk businessmen
NORTH COTABATO – The business and education sector, as well as residents of North Cotabato, shared their sentiments on the power crisis in the province and in Mindanao on Wednesday.
They aired their views in a consultation initiated by Notre Dame of Midsayap College.
Six to 8 hours load curtailment is being experienced by the consumers in the P-PALMA area (Pigkawayan, Pikit, Aleosan, Libungan, Midsayap and Alamado) and some parts of Northern Kabuntalan, Pagalungan and Datu Montawal in Maguindanao, which are all under the service area of Cotabato Electric Cooperative (COTELCO).
Locals said the situation has gone from bad to worse. Rotational brownouts are implemented in two segments daily, which is 3 to 4 hours in the morning, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and again in the afternoon, which starts from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
COTELCO OIC Manager Felix Canja Jr. said energy demand is for 10 megawatts, but the P-PALMA area is only given 3.8 megawatts by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
Businessman Rolly Sacdalan said there's no one to blame but the national government which, he said, is not doing its best to resolve the Mindanao power crisis.
He said the rotational brownouts have resulted in reduced business activities.
Aside from having less customers, businesses have higher fuel costs due to the use of generators, which need 30 liters of diesel a day.
COTELCO consumers are calling on the agencies concerned and on the national government to look into the power situation in Mindanao.
They cited the need to develop more energy sources that can generate electricity and meet the demand of the consumers.