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P32M in unpaid bills lead to total blackout in Albay town

Republika

The town of Rapu-Rapu in Albay has been completely cut off from electrical supply, as consumers were unable to settle at least P15 million of their collective, total outstanding balance of P32 million.


The Albay Power and Energy Corporation (APEC) and National Power Corporation (NaPoCor) shut down all diesel-fed generator sets around noon on May 15.


APEC’s institutional relations and customer affairs department head Lesley Capus stated that of their 1,700 registered customers only 658 were able to pay their dues either in full or partially.


“…the only amount we received on the last day of our pitch-in collection efforts…is a measly P178,434.50…the total amount we collected since Monday was only P3.108 million” Capus announced.


He further mentioned that APEC is unable to pay the P2 million per month cost of electricity supply to consumers due to their inability to settle balances.


In response to the town-wide power cut, the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office chief Cedric Daep said that the affected residents will most likely utilize generators or solar panels in the meantime.


Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) Bicol spokesperson Marflor Jumamil, spoke about consulting partner agencies for aid in the matter as distanced learning is heavily affected by the blackout.


There are a total of 37,000 people residing on the island, with 36 public elementary schools and seven high schools.


The news also comes as the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has announced that with quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region and four neighboring provinces (NCR+ bubble) lowered to a more relaxed level, they will be resuming consumer service disconnection for unpaid or overdue bills.


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