The National Electrification Administration (NEA) and National Power Corp. (Napocor) have been given marching orders by the new administration of the energy department to address the issues and concerns of electric cooperatives (ECs).
Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi asked both agencies to “go down to the cooperatives” after officers and members of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperative Association Inc., (PHILRECA) led by its general manager, Wendell Ballesteros, held dialogue with the new energy chief.
“It should be the NEA and NAPOCOR who should approach the coops, not the other way around. We have to work together to make household electrification happen especially in Mindanao,” Cusi said.
Among the issues raised by the ECs were ensuring the right of way for electric projects, tax reforms, halting the privatization of the Agus and Pulangui complexes in Mindanao, the interconnection of Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) areas to the main grid, and the opening of a one-stop shop and fast lane for the processing of permits and licenses for energy projects.
Cusi also recommended that a vulnerability assessment be made to ascertain areas highly prone to disasters to mitigate effects of calamity.
“Organize yourselves for emergency response, submit your individual disaster preparedness courses of action so we will know what to do when your area is affected,” he said.
The general managers of the coops around the country who joined the dialogue with the Energy Secretary were Horacio Santos of Agusan del Norte Electric Coop. Inc. (ANECO); Victor Cada of Quezon II Electric Coop. Inc. (QUEZELCO II); Rodrigo Sacedor, Davao del Sur Electric Coop. Inc. (DASURECO); Atty. Carlos Roman Uybarreta, 1 CARE Party-List Representative; Rene Fajilagutan, of Romblon Electric Coop. Inc. (ROMELCO); Sergio Dagooc of Siargao Island Electric Coop. Inc. (SIARELCO) and Dinagat Island Electric Coop. Inc. (DIELCO); Gabriel Tordesillas Sr. of Cagayan II Electric Coop. Inc. (CAGELCO II); Wendell Ballesteros of Davao Oriental Electric Coop. Inc. (DORECO); Ludovico Lim of Antique Electric Coop. Inc. (ANTECO); Veronica Briones of Camarines Sur IV Electric Coop. Inc. (CASURECO IV); Reynaldo Villanueva of Nueva Ecjia II Area 1 & 2 Electric Coop. Inc. (NEECO II-Area 1 & 2); and Egdon Sabio of Misamis Occidental II Electric Coop. Inc. (MOELCI II).