The Aklan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AKELCO) allayed the fears of Boracay Island residents amid speculation that its power distribution service will be scaled down once the world-famous tourist destination undergoes a six-month rehabilitation.
Engr. Alexis Regalado, general manager of AKELCO, assured all their member-consumer-owners (MCOs) that their operations would continue unhindered notwithstanding their considerable revenue losses during the Boracay closure.
“Ito ang gusto kong linawin kaugnay ng mga lumalabas na rumors na kapag ipinasara ang Boracay ay wala ring ilaw mula sa AKELCO. Tayo po ay distribution electric cooperative, service po ‘yung ating binibigay sa ating mga consumer,” Regalado said.
“Hindi tayo tulad ng ibang utility, the private-owned, na profit ‘yung purpose nila. Tayo po ay service kaya mandated tayo sa NEA na magserbisyo tayo sa (publiko). Kahit lugi, serbisyo pa rin tayo. As long as there are consumers, merong AKELCO, tuloy po ang serbisyo,” he added.
AKELCO is finding ways and doing what is necessary to ease the impact on the utility’s power rates. The electric cooperative (EC) is currently seeking negotiation of existing bilateral contracts with its Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
Electricity consumption in Boracay is expected to decrease by 84 percent and 38 percent to the overall load profile of the EC once the temporary shutdown of the island is carried out.
Regalado said they would propose for the reduction of the minimum energy off-take (MEOT) until the resumption of tourism operations in Boracay, hourly reduction proportionate to all power suppliers, and monthly reconciliation to adjust the bilateral contract quantity of the EC.
If the IPPs reject the proposal, he said, AKELCO will have no choice but to implement P1.5894 per kilowatt hour (kwh) increase in power rates during the period when the island is closed. But if the talks bear fruit, the rate adjustment will only be at 0.0162-centavo per kwh.
“Worse to worst scenario, kapag walang negotiations sa IPP ng AKELCO, ang rate increase would be—based on our simulation—P1.5894,” Regalado said.
“Kapag pumayag ‘yung mga generators sa aming proposed pro-rated nomination per day, ang magiging rate impact na lang ay 0.0162 centavos. Optimistic naman kami na maibibigay nila sa amin ito kasi nangyari na ‘yan during ‘Yolanda’,” he added.
The six-month closure and cleanup of Boracay will also cost Akelco an average of P17.261 million in distribution, supply and metering (DSM) revenue losses based on the data provided by the utility.
This week, Regalado met with National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong to seek assistance on the expected relocation of the utility’s distribution lines that will be affected by the road widening as part of the Boracay rehabilitation efforts.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier approved the recommendation made by an inter-agency task force to close Boracay to tourists for six months to make way for its rehabilitation effective April 26.