Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


To keep up with the growing demand for power in Olongapo City, the Sangguniang Panlungsod has authored a draft ordinance sanctioning the modernization and professionalization of the Public Utilities Department (PUD) through the private sector participation (PSP).

“We need to protect our consumers as we continue to formulate and implement consumer-friendly initiatives,” said Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr.

According to PUD Head Engr. Louie Lopez, “Operating a power distribution utility requires a lot of money, time, and effort.”

“Panahon pa ng mga Amerikano ang mga kagamitan na minana lang natin,” he added.

Without additional investment to modernize PUD’s equipment, the old existing equipment will most likely fail and result in frequent power interruptions.

Upgrading and modernizing the system will be too costly for the city and the taxpayers. It is estimated that around P30 to P35 million a year will be needed for the next 15 years; increasing to P60 million a year for ten more years thereafter.

This reality prevents the city from improving the delivery of important basic services such as education, healthcare, sanitation, social services, housing, security, job generation, local tourism, business development, and poverty reduction.

The conduct of several public consultations were initiated by City Councilor Jonathan Manalo, chair of the Committee on Public Utilities, where pertinent issues regarding the proposed modernization were raised and the general public were given the chance to speak of their concerns and were given plausible answers.

According to Councilor Manalo, “The performance standards set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for utilities like PUD keep getting higher and stricter.”

“ERC sets a tough 9.5% cap on systems loss. It also requires utilities to meet stringent financial capability standards and reliability standards like the System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) and System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI),” he added.

Thus, the city government is now seeking the involvement of the private sector to help operate the city’s electric distribution system. The experience, expertise and financial resources of a private sector will pave way to the upgrade and modernization of the equipment that will greatly improve the quality of service.

Mayor Gordon said he is confident that a reliable power will attract more tourists, businesses,a nd provide more jobs for the people.


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