MARAWI CITY: A few days before the House of Representatives hearing in Marawi City on March 7 to discuss alleged irregularities in the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (Lasureco), Gov. Mamintal “Bombit” Adiong Jr. of Lanao del Sur bared on Tuesday the “staggering P8-billion debt”
allegedly accumulated by the current administration of the cooperative.
The inquiry is slated by the House committee on energy pursuant to a resolution filed earlier by Lanao del Sur (first district) Rep. Ansaruddin Alonto-Adiong to unearth in aid of legislation all the Lasureco’s management ills that purportedly compounded decades of local power shortage.
“Lasureco is at the brink of inevitable collapse due to staggering P8-billion debt,” Adiong said in a letter to President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla dated November 11, 2013.
Adiong emphasized that past administrators of the first 29 years of Lasureco’s existence incurred an average of P68.9-million arrears annually, while the multi-awarded general manager Sultan Ashary Maongco’s six-year leadership posted an annual debt average of P1 billion.
Adiong said the provincial government had acquired Lasureco’s financial records from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., The National Transmission Corp. and National Electrification Administration, to which the ailing cooperative owes the arrears.
Petitioning consumers represented by lawyer Boni Balt filed a protest at the Energy Regulatory Commission and questioned the absence of elections in the Lasureco board of directors. Adiong claimed that Maongco had converted the LASURECO into Dansalan Light and Power as reflected in the heading of the cooperative’s recent billings.
Maongco has not replied to allegations of irregularities in his administration, even as Adiong lamented that the Lasureco executive had provided government-sponsored forums with just “rhetorical” data in clarifying questions.
“We find it very ironic that our province’s Lake Lanao is the major source of hydroelectricity in Mindanao, yet we have the worst of power fluctuations and brownouts ever,” the governor said.
The lake’s Agus River runs six power plants that for de–cades have supplied over 60 percent of Mindanao’s electricity.