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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Zambo mayor to Zamcelco: Shape up, don’t be stumbling block to city’s progress
By Felipo David G. Malcampo

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 14 (PIA) – In her State of the City Address (SOCA) on Monday, Mayor Maria Isabelle G. Climaco-Salazar called the attention of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco), to “shape up” and not be a “stumbling block to the city’s progress.”

To the board or directors and Management of Zamcelco, the city under my leadership is moving so fast, you have to shape up because it is your primary obligation not to be a stumbling block to the city’s progress,” the mayor sternly said.

“We all agree that sufficient power supply is an indispensable strategy for economic development,” Mayor Climaco-Salazar emphasized, likewise maintaining that it is a necessity to have stable 24-hours supply of electricity to ensure the residents’ good quality of life. “Our current power situation will never improve if we remain idle and not make things happen.”

She called on the leadership of Zamcelco to be “accountable” to the member-consumers, “to improve its administrative and technical capacities to effectively address” the power situation.

Since 2015 and the previous years, Zamcelco has been heavily lambasted by member-consumers due to the persisting daily rotational six to eight-hour blackouts in the city. It was only during December 2015 when the cooperative was able to acquire additional load from the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) through a provisional authority granted by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) when the power situation normalized with almost zero blackouts.

Meanwhile, the mayor shared that the local government had already looked into a long term solution to address any possible power issues in the future. “Zamboanga will soon be the hub of Southeast Asia’s largest solar power plant,” she said, sharing that she has already met with Ecoglobal Inc., an international firm, which will soon invest in a solar plant, and eventually wind energy in the Zamboanga Ecozone and Freeport Authority. This project is targeted for completion in March, this year.

This development is seen to eventually make the city self-sufficient in electricity with up to 300 megawatts of power supply.