Blackouts announced nationwide in the DR
The executive vice-president of the State-owned Electricity Companies (CDEEE), Celso Marranzini, has announced a series of scheduled blackouts. He said by programming them, the blackouts would be fairer and more evenly distributed nationwide.
He said blackouts will continue because there is just not enough money to pay the generators, which are thus supplying 80% of demand. Marranzini acknowledged that some sectors are suffering 18 and 20-hour blackouts. He said the high level of debts at the CDEEE could take at least five years to be cleared.
The official asked National Police chief Guillermo Rafael Guzman Fermin, to "prevent rambunctious people from causing problems with strikes, picketing, or marches in the barrios when we announce blackouts in specific places." He said that the blackouts would be announced in newspapers ads.
Marranzini also said that the CDEEE needed US$350 million to finish the year without having to increase the electricity rates, including US$60 million for the monthly subsidy on electricity bills. He said that there is close to a billion dollars (US$1,000,000,000) in debts, and these cannot be paid in a month or in a year, and for this he asked for patience, since an IMF agreement or a bond emission would help solve the problem. Finally, he called for a 10-year strategy, which he said did not exist.
The Dominican Association of the Electricity Industry says the country needs to invest US$3.5 billion to meet demand for power into the next decade. Marco de la Rosa, president of the organization, has expressed his support for the new authorities at the CDEEE.

CDEEE transparency and payroll
Celso Marranzini, executive vice-president of the State-owned Electricity Companies (CDEEE), has announced that financial information about the CDEEE's operations is available for all to see online. Now the general public can see how taxpayer money is being used on the CDEEE payroll at the "Recursos Humanos" section of the website. The new CDEEE head had strongly criticized his predecessor Radhames Segura for his bloated payroll.
This morning, radio talk show host Carmen Imbert Brugal commented that Marranzini had inherited a public relations department of the administration of the CDEEE with 158 persons on its staff from his predecessor Radhames Segura, costing RD$3.8 million in wages per month. Imbert commented that is many times greater than the staff of the largest media companies in the DR.
On the issue of the firings, Marranzini said that when he entered the CDEEE on 18 August, 157 people were employed in the Public Relations Department and he has fired nearly all of them. He said that "not all of them were journalists, but they were in the Public Relations Department...and I think that some of them showed up for the first time when I arrived on 18 August." He reported that only 35 are still on the payroll. He also confirmed the fact that "there were 125 consultants with salaries of up to US$50,000 a month and when Nuria Piera released her story, these were cut to 35. I fired the rest of them...".


Go back | Date: 18 Sep 2009
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