Power cut in areas of Maguindanao over unpaid bills
John Unson (Philstar.com) - December 9, 2019 - 2:50pm

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — The Maguindanao Electric Cooperative on Monday shut off power to certain areas in this province to compel delinquent residents to settle P1.2 billion worth of accumulated accounts.

Ashary Maongco, manager of the power cooperative that supplies electricity to towns in Maguindanao, was quoted Monday in radio reports as saying that they have no way but to proceed until customers pay their unsettled bills.

Magelco buys electricity from the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., or PSALM, that operates the hydroelectric plants propelled by the Agus River that straddles through the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Lanao Norte.

Insiders said Magelco’s obligations with PSALM have ballooned over the years due to the problem.

Many of those with unpaid bills are relatives of political warlords, or are members of heavily-armed clans in areas that linemen of Magelco cannot disconnect their meters because of security concerns.

Maguindanao covers 36 towns, but some are being supplied with electricity by Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative in Sultan Kudarat province.

Local officials in Maguindanao privy to the problems besetting Magelco said the cooperative has collectibles amounting to P1.2 billion.

Consumers who have been paying their Magelco bills told reporters the regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, led by Chief Minister Hadji Ahod Ebrahim, can help address the problem.

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