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EDITORIAL. Regular Power Outages

Even before the dry months, electricity in Marawi and Lanao del Sur was already unreliable. Vast areas have not been energized and brownouts are happening almost every day.

Consumers have long been complaining about this situation but since no remedy has come about, many seem to have accepted it as a reality that painfully must be borne by all.

Even the Cooperative cannot give clear answers. Now it would be said that it is because many consumers are not paying their bills regularly; then it would be because the individual consumption is not properly measured and accounted; and finally because NGCP and PSALM are not supplying enough power.

It appears that some or all of the above are true.

When asked, consumers said they are not paying their bills because of dissatisfaction; individual consumption is not properly measured because many are not metered; and NGCP and NPC/PSALM are not supplying enough power due to Lasureco’s debt unsettled, or due to insufficient generation.

The cooperative has been changing management many times due to persistent problems. A metering task force is now in place but still the problems are growing.

The fiscal position is in the red. It was reported that the cooperative is spending much bigger than its income, of which simple computing will tell us that it is almost impossible to solve no matter what the Lasureco info campaigners are trying to say,

Even if all consumers settle their respective bills, only God knows if Lasureco can energize the whole of the province without hours of brownouts daily considering the limit of power supply provided to them.

And worse, rumors of rampant graft and corruption are deafening.

On the other hand, generation in the Agus Hydroelectric complex is reportedly dropping due to the dwindling water flow from the lake.

Seemingly, the problems are insurmountable the bottomline of which is money matters: truths that both Lasureco management and the general public must accept.

We hope the government should come in again and reconsider its prevailing approach of solving the power problem by restructuring Lasureco’s present financial red status.

Restructuring Lasureco’s debt means that if the government cannot condone such debts, the government should place such debts in moratorium that Lasureco shall pay in time it shall have already become a strong and viable power business cooperative.

Meanwhile, NEA should institute drastic measures to check problems in the cooperative. Consumer awareness and cooperation must be obtained. And the law providing that the host community must be allotted 25% of the power generated by the natural resource in the area must be complied.

The Islamic City of Marawi and the province of Lanao del Sur must perk up - not lag behind the other areas of the Bangsamoro. Electricity is needed. And the time to move right is long overdue.

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