GenSan police seek aid for P8-M electric bill

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city police office has sought assistance from the local government for the payment of its accumulated unpaid electric bills that ballooned to around PHP8 million.

Col. Gilberto Tuzon, city police director, said on Tuesday their arrears with the South Cotabato 2 Electric Cooperative (Socoteco 2) have doubled since he assumed office last year due to interest and penalty charges.

He said the unpaid bill was only around PHP4 million when he was designated as officer-in-charge of the city police office in September last year.

“This is a big problem for me right now and it could cause my relief as advised by our regional headquarters,” he said in a question hour during the city council’s regular session.

Tuzon said the arrears were based on the unpaid electric consumption under previous city directors of the city’s eight police stations, the city police headquarters, and other national support units in Camp Fermin Lira.

He said they have been paying Socoteco 2 some PHP122,000 monthly from their maintenance and other operating expenses or MOOE allotment but their arrears have not gone down and even doubled.

All police units in the city are implementing energy conservation measures through the reduced use of air-conditioning units and computer sets, he said.

“We really need your help to settle our arrears and stop it from further increasing,” Tuzon said.

City Councilor Jose Edmar Yumang, chair of the council’s committee on public order and safety, said the city peace and order council is aware of the situation.

He said Mayor Ronnel Rivera committed an initial PHP4 million as payment for the unpaid electric bill.

Tuzon said they are hoping that the local government can forge a memorandum of agreement with Socoteco 2, on their behalf, for the settlement of the remaining amount even on a staggered basis.

He said it could negotiate with Socoteco 2 for possible amnesty regarding the accumulated interests and other related charges. (PNA) 


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