The Power Sector Assets and Liability Management (PSALM) has agreed to suspend until May 25 the impending shut-off of power supply to the Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (Magelco) in response to an urgent appeal by the Bangsamoro Energy Management and Development Services (EMDS).
Bangsamoro Energy Minister Akmad Brahim said PSALM responded positively to their request to reschedule the power supply cut-off in light of three important events—the holy month of Ramadan which ends on May 2, the Holy Week observed by the Christian faithful on April 14-18, and the May 9 local and national elections.
The EMDS operates under the Ministry of Environment Natural Resources and Energy (MANRE) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) headed by Minister Brahim.
Meanwhile, PSALM requested the BARMM-MENRE and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to help compel Magelco to promptly comply with the conditions available to the electric cooperative, including debt restructuring.
PSALM has also signified that it favored a continuing dialogue with BARMM through MENRE to address pressing issues on power shortage for Maguindanao, due to depleting allocation PSALM has designated for Magelco.
The state-run firm has given MAGELCO until May 25 to come up with its own proposals in resolving issues of heavy indebtedness, and to effectively address poor financial status in bad debts it has incurred since the time of the National Power Corp. (Napocor) or prior to the operationalization of PSALM.
PSALM was created under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) and by operation of law inherited the assets and liabilities of the Napocor, including power generation, and debts incurred by power distributors such as power utility companies, and electric cooperatives.
Among the state assets in power facilities that EPIRA has placed under the management and operation of PSALM were the Agus 1 and the Agus 2 hydropower plant facilities—which provide the electricity that Magelco distributes to its service area consumers.
PSALM has the mandate to decide on the energy allocation provided to the country’s power utility firms and electric cooperatives, including Magelco, based on their capacity to pay.