By Jinky Tabor
VIRAC, Catanduanes – The First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative (Ficelco) is requesting the provincial government here to allow collections for continuous operations, noting that its financial stability was already in peril.
In an interview with The Manila Bulletin, Ficelco General Manager Raul V. Zafe said the imposition of the national government of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) guidelines severely affected the financial condition of the coop with the payment extension given to consumers, cancellation of penalty charges on late payments, and power disconnections.
This added to the sizable typhoon-damaged line restoration expenses incurred due to the recent Typhoon Tisoy which hit the province last December 2019.
In a letter sent to Acting Governor Shirley A. Abundo by Zafe, the coop asked that they be allowed to undertake the usual monthly meter reading, and collection schedules on all it members-consumer-owners (MCOs) to ensure its operational effectivity and efficiency.
Zafe stressed that they will only accept bill payments from consumers who will voluntarily to pay their electric bills.
He also assured that the coop will only demand payment as advised by the government.
Municipal mayors and barangay chairpersons were also asked to grant Fielco field employees unhampered entry to their, areas giving assurance that they will follow the protocols of ECQ and other guidelines issued by the Department of Health, and other regulatory agencies.
Zafe added that the move was to prevent the coop from reaching a level of financial condition that it will affect the efficient delivery of electric service in the province of Catanduanes.