More misery to brown-out plagued Comval, DavNor consumers
TAGUM CITY – “Since the start of power blackouts here, we have less customers because they prefer to go to internet cafés in malls where there are power generators,” lamented businesswoman Rhodora Khadil.
Owner of an internet café in this city, Khadil complained of low incomes due to regular power outages that hit Tagum since the onset of summer season.
Khadil is among the small entrepreneurs and consumers who are increasingly frustrated with the city’s three-hour rotational blackout which is being implemented by the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) in all of its franchise areas in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces.
Ironically, while consumers suffer from reduced electric use, they now face impending power rates increase.
Daneco-National Electrification Administration’s (NEA ) Management Information Officer Diona Abaquita told DavaoToday “that an average increase of seventy centavos (.70) per kilowatt hour will be added to their monthly electric bills because Daneco had purchased additional power from private companies to maintain its power requirement.”
Daneco’s peak demand is an average of 71 megawatts while Daneco claims that current sources are inadequate. Daneco’s power source is comprised of Yuchengco-led construction firm Engineering Equipment Inc. and Power Corp. (EEI) at 13 megawatts, Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine Inc. (TMI) at 15 megawatts, and PSALM at 20 megawatts.
During non- peak hours, Abaquita added, Daneco member-consumers has 75-76 megawatt power requirement while the electric supplier main source, PSALM, only produces between 20 to 30.7 megawatts.
Benedict Ongking, Daneco-NEA General Manager, said the Mindanao grid has triggered a generation rate increase since bunkers and fuel generating plant of Daneco were maximized due to insufficient supply of power coming from government-owned plants.
The Tagum bunker diesel-fired power plant is 100-percent owned by EEI, Ongking said.
Ongking said “the decision to purchase supplemental power supply is essential to accommodate at least 140, 000 member-consumers of the cooperative.”
In the meantime, local residents and business owners here are complaining that the prolonged scheduled power outages have disturbed their normal routine and “damaged the local economy.”
Teresita Maglandayon, who operates a small photocopying business in her home, said her photocopying machines and other appliances were damaged by the regular blackouts.
Maglandayon said the long scheduled power outages have taken a heavy toll on residents, along with the added misery of “water shortages,” as some water pumps are electric.
With the prolonged power outages, Daneco advised its member-consumers “to be prudent in the usage of power and to institute measures to reduce power consumption as much as possible especially during peak hours.”
DANECO is the exclusive power distribution firm in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley including the cities of Tagum and Island Garden City of Samal.
It also provides electricity to municipalities of Monkayo, Montevista, Nabunturan, Compostela, New Bataan, Mawab, Maco, Pantukan and San Isidro.(Mart D. Sambalud/davaotoday.com)