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Samal officials and residents protest Nordeco’s quick-fix vs brownouts

ISLAND Garden City of Samal (Igacos) in Davao del Norte local officials and residents staged a protest rally before the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco) office to express their disgust on the alleged failure of the co-op to stabilize the power in the city.

This developed as the electric cooperative failed to fix the submarine cable that connects the island city to the grid through the transmission system of the Davao Light and Power Co. Instead, the cooperative has tapped the Mindoro Grid Corp. generator sets through the IGaCos Light and Power Corp.

The consumer group Davao Consumer Movement also opposed Nordeco’s action to tap the generating sets instead of rehabilitating the underground cable due to the stability and affordability of power output.

Ryan Amper, co-convenor of the movement, said that the refusal of the electric cooperative to fix the underground cable was its attempt to push the people of its franchise area to support its project of building a 25-kilometer underground line that will connect to its transmission system.

“We oppose in the strongest terms their inexplicable solution of building a P1.4 billion, 25-kilometer submarine cable when there are faster, much cheaper solutions in place. This project is financially senseless and technically unsound, and will have a grave impact on our electricity bill not only for Samalenyos but the entire consumer base of Nordeco,” Amper said in a statement.

A check with the Energy Regulatory Commission, the body that regulates all aspects of the power industry in the country, showed the submarine cable project has yet to get approval.

Since Christmas Day, IGaCos, considered the center of tourism in the Davao Region, has experienced intermittent power outages after the submarine cable conked out.

Despite the tapping of the generator sets, Nordeco has been announcing power interruptions in the island city.

“Our group will not rest until Nordeco addresses our concerns and provides us with a power source that is both stable and affordable. We will continue to advocate for the rights and interests of our communities and hold Nordeco accountable for their actions. Until then, we will speak out against Nordeco’s inefficiencies and demand better services for our communities,” Amper added.

The movement has been among those pushing to transfer the remaining areas in Davao del Norte to the Davao Light and Power Co., a proposal that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. thumbed down when he assumed office.

At present, Panabo City and the towns of Sto. Tomas, Carmen and Braulio Dujali are being served by Davao Light, while the rest of the province and Davao de Oro remain with Nordeco.

Amper called on customers of the electric cooperative to demand better services.

“We must demand better services and a more sustainable and reliable power source for our communities. The Davao Consumer Movement is committed to this fight, and we call on all consumers to join us in this struggle for a better future,” he added.


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