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RDC XI endorses calls to transfer DavNorte from Nordeco to DLPC

THE REGIONAL Development Council XI has supported calls to place the entire Davao del Norte under the Davao Light and Power Co. (DLPC) franchise area.

On Friday, the council approved a resolution on the issue during its meeting in Mati City, Davao Oriental, on a motion of Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin I. Jubahib.

In a press statement, Jubahib said he is “hopeful that, being the highest policy-making body for development efforts in the Davao Region, the RDC-XI’s resolution will help influence the President to reconsider his previous decision and grant DLPC’s expansion in the province this time around.”

Jubahib referred to the veto on the previous proposal that President Ferdinand Marcos issued last year.

The Jubahib motion specifically pushed for the approval of the three resolutions, House Bills 6740, 5077 and 6695. House Bills 6740 and 5077, authored by Reps. Margarita Ignacia Nograles of the PBA partylist and Pantaleon Alvarez of the First District of Davao del Norte, respectively, both pushed for placing the province and Maco in Davao de Oro under the service area of DLPC.

The other proposal, House Bill 6695 and authored by Reps. Alan Dujali of the Second District of Davao del Norte and Maria Carmen Zamora of the First District of Davao de Oro, pushes for the inclusion of the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) in the DLPC franchise area.

DLPC, besides servicing Davao City, is also the electricity provider of some parts of Davao del Norte, like Panabo City and the towns of Carmen, Sto. Tomas and Braulio Dujali.

Jubahib, who is into his second term as Davao del Norte governor, has been pushing for the transfer of the entire province to the franchise area of DLPC when in 2021, led the petition for the move, which would remove it from the franchise area of the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco).

The provincial government and its municipal governments and the province’s business sector also issued resolutions to support the move.

Early this month, the business sector of Tagum City, the capital of Davao del Norte, held an awareness rally to support the congressional proposal.

A similar rally was also held in Igacos last month. The city, considered the region’s crown jewel in tourism, has experienced fluctuating electricity since Christmas Day when the submarine cable that provides power conked out.

Instead of repairing the submarine cable, which is connected to the grid through the transmission system of DLPC, Nordeco tapped a company that provides modular generator sets as the temporary power source.

The electric cooperative plans to replace the submarine cable with another submarine cable that will connect the city to Pantukan in Davao de Oro, about ten times in distance if compared with the present submarine cable.

Elvira Alngog, officer in charge of Nordeco, said early this month that repairing the submarine cable would cost the cooperative P10 million, while its submarine cable project would cost about P1.5 billion.

However, the Davao Consumer Movement, a consumer group supporting the transfer proposal, said that by tapping a company offering modular generator sets, electricity rates in the franchise area of Nordeco have tremendously increased.

On the submarine cable project, the group, through co-convenor Ryan Amper, said that the project had not gotten approval from the regulating agencies like the Energy Regulation Commission, which approves capital expenditures in the power industry, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the environmental compliance certificates and the governments of Pantukan and Igacos for the permits.

Amper added that had the electric cooperative been conscious of helping its consumers who will shoulder the increase in rates once the project is completed, it could have waited for the completion of the bridge that will connect the island city to the mainland and used it as the backbone for the cable that would only result in a capital expenditure of P200 million based on initial study.

The use of the connector bridge, not only for the power supply but also for water supply to the island city, was also approved in the form of the resolution by the RDC, also as initiated by Jubahib.

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