DOE orders APEC to restore power supply in Rapu-Rapu
By Mar S. Arguelles
The Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday, May 18 ordered the Albay Power and Energy Corporation (APEC) to temporarily restore power supply in the island town of Rapu-rapu and allow thousands of delinquent consumers there to settle their unpaid electric bills amounting to P 15 million.
Lesley Capus, head of APEC Institutional Relations and Customer Support Department in an interview, said electricity was already restored in the town after electricians from the National Power Corporations (NPC) completed the power sequencing procedures of the standard maintenance and safety checks of the two diesel-fed generators and power lines at the Batan Island and the Rapu-rapu town proper.
DOE Usec. Emmanuel Juaneza, in a memorandum issued on May 17, asked the APEC, NPC, and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to immediately restore power to the Municipality of Rapu-Rapu in Albay province.
Capus said in response to the DOE directive, the firm already restored power supply after the NPC completed its maintenance and safety checks.
Capus however, stressed that the power restoration is temporary only for a period of two days, while a resolution is being worked out with the DOE and the delinquent consumers for a workable solutions to find ways to settle the consumer’s arrearages in the amount of more than P32 million.
If no payment arrangement is reached and signed at the end of said 48 hours, APEC will be constrained to request NPC to cut-off again power supply in Rapu-Rapu.
He called on delinquent consumers in Rapu-rapu, “we urge you to cooperate and maximize this new consideration provided by APEC to settle your arrears fully within the mentioned grace period.”
“We expect that the LGU of Rapu-rapu would aggressively mobilize its personnel and resources to enable their constituents to pay their unsettled bills and not to rely fully on the intervention of external stakeholders,” he said.
Earlier, APEC asked NPC to shut off the power supply on May 15 of the town’s main island of Rapu-Rapu and on Batan Island after 1,700 delinquent power consumers failed to pay the P15 million of the P32 million power bill that the residents had not been paying since 2014.
Capus said the town’s power consumers were only able to raise P3 million during the four-day pitch in collection period given by the power distribution firm.
He said the amount was only two percent of the amount the power consumers owed the firm.
APEC is paying P2 million a month to NPC for providing diesel-fed power to the town even if the 1,700 energy consumers had not been paying their bills.