By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV Online
Papua New Guinea’s power authority, PNG Power Limited (PPL) has begun its debt recovery exercise throughout the country, implemented by its recently established Debt Management Team under the leadership of the Project Manager – Debt Management (Hard-Core Accounts), Donbosco Mruwari.
Mruwari is PNG Power’s Internal Securities and Protective Services Manager, and was appointed to oversee the team.
Acting upon concerns raised by the PPL Board in September over the debts incurred from outstanding electricity bills owed to the SOE by customers; CEO, John Tangit and his management have taken the necessary steps to implement the debt recovery exercise.
This is as, customers are consuming electricity without having settled their electricity bills and as such, continue to cause negative impacts on the financial position of PNG Power.
The Debt Management Team’s project manager, Donbosco Mruwari revealed that the team’s first objective was to identify all the hard-core debtors. In doing so, they will meet with the customers in person with the aim of ‘understanding them’.
“We will knock on doors and talk to them face to face. We want to help them and we want them to continue with their daily businesses and on the other hand, they must also understand that PPL has to stay in business to provide them with electricity,” Mr Mruwari said.
Hard-core debtors are customers who have unpaid bills exceeding [more than] 90 days and it is understood that these hard-core debts are being incurred from semi-state owned enterprises (SOEs), private companies and individuals who owe PPL millions of kina.
“PPL is here to provide electricity services but like any paid services, hard-core customers have to pay their overdue electricity bills because if they don’t, electricity services will be disconnected with appropriate recovery actions taken,” Mr Mruwari explained.
The Debt Management Team will initiate the creating of standard operating procedures for debt collection and manual files of all hard-core debtors.
The team is also mandated to execute necessary measures to recover debts through the courts, and have debt recovery agents engaged to support their exercise.