PSALM, NGCP to delay power cut off in Maguindanao

The state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) have agreed to defer turning off the power supply to the Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (Magelco).

Lawyer Cyrus Torreña, lead counsel of Maguindanao Gov. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu, said Friday power suppliers have given Magelco several days to submit restructuring proposals while the June 13 curtailment will be temporarily put on hold.

Torreña did not disclose how the cooperative, with the help of the provincial government, will settle the more than PHP3.8 billion unpaid obligation of Magelco to power suppliers.

“The restructuring will allow Magelco to come up with a strategy to settle its financial obligations, both current and unpaid debt, to PSALM and NGCP,” Torreña said.

The PSALM earlier notified Magelco that its power will be shut off effective June 13 at noon.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said Magelco only paid PHP45.5 million or around 31 percent of about P146 million total power bill for the period covering December 2021 to April 2022.

Torreña said the provincial government learned from Magelco that about 25,000 of its 47,000 member-consumers are “non-paying members.”

“About 25,000 members have electricity, and yet they do not have electric meters while others have power supplies but are not religiously paying bills,” he said.

Torreña said one of the reasons that the uncollected amount has accumulated through the years was that some collectors used temporary receipts and did not remit the collections to Magelco.

“These are some issues, maybe there could be more, an audit is ongoing,” he said.

Magelco's power requirement is 24 megawatts monthly from PSALM.

Torreña said both NGCP and PSALM have been “very compassionate” in dealing with Magelco allowing various restructuring mechanisms from previous cooperative officials.

“But now is the time to help the cooperative and not the time for blaming the game, what is important is power supply remains and avoid brownouts,” he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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