NEA rallies support for its legislative agenda

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THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) rallied all electric cooperatives under its supervision to support the agency’s legislative agenda, including the possibility of expanding its authority over all power distribution utilities (DUs).

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NEA chief Edgardo Masongsong asked the general managers of the electric cooperatives (ECs) to help him lobby Congress to increase NEA’s mandate by putting private investor-owned utilities (PIOUs) and private distribution utilities (PDUs) under its charge as well.

“A National Electrification Authority, just one authority to supervise all DUs whether you are electric cooperative or you are private,” he said at the recently held 20th National Conference of the National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives (Nagmec).

“Maybe we can do that especially (now) that we have a President who is pro-people, pro-electricity consumers. Maybe this is the time for us to lobby that we will have one agency supervising all DUs,” the NEA chief added.

Masongsong also asked the ECs to endorse the refiling of House Bill 6080, which hopes to modify the qualifications for, and create a screening committee in the election or appointment of their directors and officers.

HB No. 6080 or An Act Modifying the Qualifications for and Creating a Screening Committee in the Election or Appointment of the Directors and Officers of Electric Cooperatives, Amending for the Purpose Sections 26-A and 26-B of Presidential Decree No. 269, as amended by Republic Act No. 10531, otherwise known as the National Electrification Administration Reform Act of 2013.

The proposed amendment likewise seeks to reconstitute the current membership of a Screening Committee that shall review and evaluate the official records and conduct a final screening of the qualification requirements of EC district election candidates.

Further, the NEA chief said they may also seek funding for the development of renewable energy in their respective franchise areas and push for the creation of a standard charter for the ECs, a magna carta for energy workers, as well as the establishment of a Linemen Training Academy.

Masongsong likewise reiterated the new thrusts and priorities of the agency in line with the five-point electricity agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte and the nine-point energy policy of Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

The NEA supervises 121 electric cooperatives all over the country.

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