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A multi-sectoral dialogue on the Basilan power crisis

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A manifesto of commitment was signed at the Bishop Querexeta Formation Centre in Isabela, Basilan on July 16, 2011, declaring the genuine commitment of the people of Basilan to resolve the power crisis in the island.

The signing took place during the multi-sectoral discussion by Basileños which was organized by the Inter-Faith Council of Leaders (IFCL) of Basilan, a group organized by the Silsilah Dialogue Movement. The discussion was participated in by representatives of the local government units, line agencies of the national government, non-governmental organizations, religious groups, educational institutions, the business sector and BASELCO itself.

The intensity of the power crisis in Basilan had to be discussed as BASELCO, the electricity provider of the island, faces a dismal financial position which is growing worse each day. The discussion brought many issues to the table with regard to the power crisis, while short term and long term solutions were also proposed to solve the crisis.

The representatives of the different sectors gave feedback reiterating the need to address the many issues in the power situation of Basilan: access to electricity; low capacity in electricity production; illegal tapping; deficiency in the collection of payments; pilferage which are present in almost all the municipalities in Basilan.

A key contributor to the worsening financial position of BASELCO is systems loss, brought about by illegal tapping or pilferage of electricity both in the city and in the more remote areas of the island in practically all the municipalities. This is also aggravated by a deficiency in the collection of payments. The BASELCO management’s estimate of systems loss is 24.5%, which translates to about 2.4 million pesos a month. Because of the poor financial position of BASELCO it has to cut back on electricity generation which in turn causes frequent power outages, with negative impact on many activities dependent on electricity.




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