Senate vows to settle NEA-Buseco row


THE Senate has vowed to exhaust all lawful actions to settle the dispute between the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative Inc. (Buseco).

The Senate energy committee, spearheaded by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, said on Wednesday they will remain impartial while the issues between the two are being resolved.

“I would like to reiterate the value of trust and so we ask you to trust us that this matter will not go unnoticed,” Gatchalian added.

Earlier this month, both parties reached a compromise following a consultative meeting called by the Senate committees on energy and cooperatives, under which they agreed on several items.

NEA and Buseco agreed to appoint Regin Mordeno as Buseco’s acting general manager (AGM) for a month and to conduct a comprehensive audit of the books of the power co-op without preconditions.

Mordeno was a former president of the board of directors of First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Fibeco).
“All dismissed employees and Buseco board members who are under preventive suspension shall be reinstated,” Gatchalian said.

He said both parties agreed to withdraw all complaints filed before the Office of the Ombudsman and to refrain from any activities that would sow misinformation.

They also agreed to publish in the newspapers a call to fill up the vacant position of general manager.

The dispute between the two parties began when NEA issued an order in May designating an AGM and Project Supervisor to temporarily supervise Buseco because of internal conflict among its board members, accusations of irregularities, and to ensure the cooperative’s continued operational and financial viability.

The order, pursuant to Sections 4 and Section 4-A of Presidential Decree No. 269, as amended by Republic Act No. 10531, was released upon the recommendation of NEA’s fact-finding committee.

Last April 1, four Buseco directors wrote a letter to NEA asking for intervention in Buseco management due to high electricity rates and supposed illicit activities, among other concerns.

Buseco attempted to challenge the order before the Court of Appeals by filing a petition for certiorari.
However, the appeals court rejected the petition last June 2.


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