180 Albay villages face power cut-off

By Mar S. Arguelles


THE Albay Power and Energy Corp., (APEC) on Monday, May 24, has placed on “Red Flag” some 180 villages with huge unpaid power bills and urged residents to settle their accounts or face power disconnection soon.


Earlier, the Department of Energy (DOE) on May 21 directed APEC to continue supplying power to the island town of Rapu-rapu while at the same time giving a 60 days grace period for the thousands of delinquent power consumers there to work out a settlement mechanism of the P32.5 million unpaid power bills.


Lesley Capus, head of the APEC Internal Relations and Customer Support Department, said they have already sent the list of power delinquent villages to their respective local government units (LGUs) in the province.


He said, “we already written and informed all the local chief executives in the province and provided them a list of these barangays including data on those with outstanding obligations in the said communities for their reference and guidance.”


Capus said included in the “Red Flag” list are the top 10 villages in the 15 towns and three cities with huge arrearages amounting to P805 million.


He said these outstanding unpaid power bills were incurred since 2014 and to date.


The First District of Albay that covers Tiwi, Malinao, Malilipot, Bacacay, Sto Domingo, and Tabaco City has outstanding arrearages amounting to P340 million.


The Second District with the towns of Daraga, Camalig, Rapu-Rapu, Manito, and Legazpi City accounts for P280 million on unpaid power bills.


While in the Third District covering the towns of Guinobatan, Jovellar, Pio Duran, Oas, Libon, Polangui, and Ligao City has P185 million in arrearages.


Among the top five towns with huge unpaid power bills are Daraga (P81 million), Polangui (P56 million), Tiwi (P48 million) followed by Rapu-Rapu(P32.5 million), and Malinao (P23 million).


For the cities, Tabaco had the highest account with P219 million, followed by Legazpi (P146 million), Ligao City with P56 million.


Capus said that these villages aside from having large arrearages have a high rate of power system losses due to pilferages.


He said the objective of the campaign is to bring down APEC’s huge systems loss and improve its collection efficiency, so it can raise sufficient revenue to improve its services and enable its distribution facilities in Albay to be more resilient.