Power cut off in Pantabangan due to unpaid bills

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2013 04:23 PM | Updated as of Feb 12 2013 12:23 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Power was cut off in the municipality of Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija at around noon on Monday, as the Pantabangan Municipal Electric Services was disconnected from the power grid.

This is due to the non-payment of some P8.7 million debt to its supplier First Gen Hydro Power Corp.

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla says the utility has not paid its power bills to First Gen since July 2012.

Petilla said another utility, the Olongapo City-run electric utility, is also in danger of being cut off from the grid due to its P4 billion debt to PSALM. He said the problem has been brought about by low collection efficiency and non-remittance of payment by the electric service.

Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) is also in danger of being disconnected too due to non payment of more than P4 billion to PSALM and other suppliers.

However, Petilla assured consumers these areas will have power sources a week before and after the May elections to ensure that the PCOS machines work and the peace and order is maintained.