Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Sunday raised concern over the “serious problem on the actual and projected disconnection of electric service in various localities and communities of Albay due to reported huge delinquencies in the payment of electric bills and rampant pilferage through illegal connections.”
Lagman proposed several solutions that the local government units and national government agencies must pay immediately their unpaid accounts “which are sizeable,” and that those with illegal connections must avail of the one-month amnesty offered by the Albay Power Agency Corp. (APEC) of holding in abeyance their prosecution if they immediately remove their illegal connections and legitimize their consumption.”
He also suggested that commercial and industrial establishments must update their unpaid accounts, residential and private consumers must fully pay their unpaid bills, any interests and surcharges must be condoned for those who would pay their accrued accounts soonest, there must be a review of the viability and integrity of the Barangay Power Association, there must be an assurance that all regular and good-paying consumers are spared from a community-wide disconnection, and unpaid bills should not be allowed to balloon because it is harder to collect when the amount of the delinquency becomes huge.
“Although APEC is not expected to subsidize delinquency and pilferage, it must moderate with compassion its enforcement policies, particularly for the marginalized and disadvantaged,” he said.
“It is also urged that the APEC must have a continuing dialogue with local government executives, heads of regionalized national agencies, business leaders, representatives of residential associations, and officials of the Department of Education and the Department of Health whose operations will be gravely affected by the cutting off of electric service,” he added.