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Business groups, LGUs demand improved power services in Western Visayas

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KALIBO, Aklan – Business groups, local governments, and electric power cooperatives have banded together in issuing a joint call for sustainable power supply in Western Visayas, citing the adverse impact of prolonged power interruptions not only on businesses but also on public health.

Jobert Peñaflorida, Western Visayas governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries said on Friday, May 13, that the PCCI chapters in the region – Aklan, Antique, Boracay, Capiz, Iloilo, and Metro Bacolod – issued a joint statement for consistent, reliable, and affordable power supply i n the region.

“The prolonged power interruptions in…Panay and Guimaras Islands on April 27-29, 2023 have affected the people of Region VI (Western Visayas). Our families have suffered tremendously, especially our senior citizens and those with co-morbidities,” they said in their joint statement.

The resort island of Boracay in Aklan suffered more than three hours of power interruptions on April 27. From April 28 to 30, various power cooperatives in Panay and Guimaras had rotational blackouts.

On May 7, Kalibo Mayor Juris Sucro said he personally delivered his letter to the for the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) main office to convey the sentiments of his constituents in relation to the “frequent power shortages.”

“Electricity is an essential part of our lives. However, the increased dependency on continuous power supply makes us much more vulnerable regarding power supply interruptions. We would like to know about the NGCP’s plans and initiatives to remedy these frequent power shortages,” Sucro said.

On April 29, the Electric Cooperatives Association of Region VI, Incorporated (ECAR-VI) sent a letter to the NGCP Visayas Operations and Maintenance, asking it to shed light on the “system disturbance” and over-voltage affecting the whole region.

Shirley Laurente, president of ECAR-VI and general manager of the Guimaras Electric Cooperative said, “Electric Coops have become funnels of complaints raised by consumers despite the fact that this incident is beyond their control as NGCP has not provided concrete resolution on the matter.” – Rappler.com