By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative-National Electrification Administration (DANECO-NEA) has promised to work on improving its services in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella said.
Fuentebella said DANECO-NEA executives have given this commitment after refusing to waive its privilege to deliver power on the island that would have allowed a third power player take over the distribution of electricity.
He said DANECO-NEA has yet to finalize its timeline this month, but warned that the Department of Energy (DOE) will revoke its franchise and open the island to other power providers if they fail to resolve the power woes in IGACOS immediately.
He said residents and resort owners have been complaining about poor power services because of a management dispute between DANECO-NEA and DANECO-Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).
On March 17, 2016, the 13.8kv submarine cable line of DANECO, connecting the entire island of Samal from the mainland grid was severely damaged after being dragged by the anchor of M/V Ecuador of Seaview Cargo Shipping Corporation.
The submarine cable, with a holding capacity of 4 to 5 megawatts transmits power from Davao Light and Power Co. sub-station to the entire Samal Island which is under the DANECO franchise.
Fuentebella added the DOE suggested to the stakeholders of the island to put up an independent power system, meaning resorts and other establishments generate would their own electricity but they are still connected to a single independent grid on the island, to maximize their production and utilization of energy.
Fuentebella said they were waiting for the issuance of an executive order from the Malacañang Palace that can authorize the agency to waive the franchise of non-performing electric cooperatives in Mindanao.
The DOE will give the franchise to the private players to ensure an efficient delivery of power services to consumers in unserved and underserved areas, he said.
But if there would be no interested players, he said they will mandate the National Power Corporation to provide provision of adequate, reliable, and efficient supply of electricity in missionary areas.