Dexter A. See
BANGUED, Abra —Aboitiz Power Renewables (APRI) cut off power supply to this province on Monday, restored it after a few hours but angry residents threatened to sue the company for various charges, including the inconvenience of having no electricity, officials said.
Richard Tuzon, institutional services department manager of Abra Electric Cooperatives (Abreco) said the company sent a notice of disconnection for its failure to pay its bills amounting P5 million but it cut off power despite full payment before the deadline last Monday.
“We referred the problem to our legal department to study the legal options to compel those responsible for the unexpected power outage in the province to answer for their wayward actions,” Tuzon said.
APRI threatened to disconnect Abreco last December 10, but Energy Secretary Carlos Petilia interceded and the disconnection notice was extended to December 14. Abreco made several payments and the remaining balance of more than P1 million was paid in full before the deadline last Monday.
Despite the payments, Abra was plunged into darkness. Power was restored after a few hours after Abra Rep. Maria Jocelyn Valera-Bernos sought the assistance of officials of the Department of Energy.
Tuzon said the source of existing supply was not immediately known but the 140,000 consumers of the cooperative will incur additional cost if power was provided by the wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
“There will be no additional charges if APRI supplied the power, but it will be costly for consumers if the source is Electricity Spot Market,” Tuzon said.
He said Bernos were meeting with energy officials and representatives of ABRECO and APRI in Manila to thresh out differences and find a solution to the power problem in Abra.
Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin called on those involved to find a permanent solution to the problem, which he said was caused by “miscommunication among the stakeholders.”
Bersamin said the power interruption had a big impact on the province’s economy and those responsible for the power interruption should be penalized for causing suffering to the people of Abra.
“We hope that all is well after the closed-door meeting with energy officials, Abreco and APRI representatives. We do not want our people to suffer again,” Bersamin saidhttp://manilastandardtoday.com/mobile/2014/12/16/abra-angry-at-aboitiz-power