DAVAO del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib welcomed the Senate probe on the power situation in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos), reiterating that the power crisis in the city needs to be addressed by the power distributor as soon as possible.
“It is high time this matter should be brought to the halls of the Senate and seek a legislative inquiry about Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco)’s gross negligence and incompetence in providing a stable power supply in our province. This is on top of the myriad of issues that dogged Nordeco, including its outdated submarine cables that failed to provide a power supply in Igacos,” Jubahib said in a statement on May 24, 2023.
On May 21, Senator Raffy Tulfo called for an investigation of Nordeco due to the frequent power outages in Igacos.
Jubahib said the silence of Nordeco regarding the power crisis is “blatant refusal to acknowledge their own inutility to resolve the persistent power woes faced by the people of Igacos and elsewhere in the province is nothing short of a disgrace.”
“It is a blatant disregard for the well-being of the community they are supposed to serve. Their refusal to acknowledge their own ineptitude is not only an insult to the people of but also a testament to their incompetence. Their silence speaks volumes about their lack of accountability and commitment to finding a solution,” he said.
Also, Jubahib said, “Nordeco has been using Coalition Against Privatization of Electric Cooperatives (Capecs) as their echo chamber, shielding themselves behind this organization to protect their own economic interests.”
“This manipulation of power and influence only serves to perpetuate their indifference toward the plight of the Dabaonon people they are meant to serve,” he said
“Capecs is turning a blind eye to the suffering endured by the residents. Instead of calling out Nordeco, Capecs wants a status quo of the dire power crisis in Davao del Norte. This cult-like mentality is an outrageous display of negligence and an affront to the basic needs and rights of the citizens,” Jubahib said.
Jubahib said Nordeco should take immediate action to rectify the power crisis in Igacos.
“The people have suffered enough, and it's about time they receive the reliable and uninterrupted power supply they deserve,” he said.
The 9th City Council of Igacos has passed three resolutions within the first half of the year in relation to the power crisis being experienced by the island city.
Through Resolution No. 734 series of 2023, the City Council declared Igacos to be under a state of calamity on March 16.
In a May 17 online post, the councilsaid it has passed a “Resolution Approving CDRRMC Resolution No. 8 series of 2023 allocating P8,100,000.00 intended for the procurement of Modular Generator Set and Accessories to be funded under the 30 percent Quick Response Fund of the five percent LDRRMF [Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund] for CY [Calendar Year] 2023.”
The third resolution is “Resolution Authorizing Hon. Al David Uy, city mayor of Igacos, to procure Modular Generator Set and Accessories in the amount of P8,100,000.00 taken from the five percent City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund - Quick Response Fund.”
The island-city is currently being supplied with electricity through a decades-old submarine cable. The submarine cable's limited capacity and frequent breakdowns have resulted in the island-city to experience rotating brownouts.
In 2022, Nordeco acting general manager Elvera Alngog said in a previous interview that they were hoping to start with a new submarine cable for Igacos last year. However, Nordeco has not yet provided updates on the project. The submarine is rougly over a billion pesos in terms of cost. KSD