Central Luzon power coops pledge P1.3-M financial aid to conflict-stricken electricity workers
Electric cooperatives (ECs) in Central Luzon have pledged P1.3-million financial assistance to the workers of the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Lasureco) affected by the recently ended five-month siege of Marawi City.
Reynaldo Villanueva, president of the Central Luzon Electric Cooperatives Association (CLECA), made the pledge during a meeting with National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong in Nueva Ecija on November 24.
Masongsong met with Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NEECO II) - Area 2 officials led by Board president Villanueva and general manager Ramon de Vera before gracing the coop's 6th Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) and 13th Foundation Day held at Palayan City Gymnasium.
The 13 member coops of CLECA, including NEECO II - Areas 1 and 2, vowed to extend financial aid to Lasureco workers and the Marawi Power Restoration Rapid Deployment (PRRD) Task Force, Villanueva informed the NEA chief.
The Marawi PRRD Task Force is a pool of volunteers from different ECs in Mindanao helping Lasureco to rehabilitate the damaged power lines and restore electricity in conflict-stricken areas.
For his part, Masongsong thanked NEECO II-Area 2 and the rest of the coops in Central Luzon for their assistance to Lasureco, which is currently under the management of Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power.
The NEA chief also bared his plans to consolidate all means of support being extended so far by the electrification agency and EC allied organizations to better facilitate its distribution.
"Salamat satulong para samgakapatidnatinsaMarawi. Inaayosko 'yungsistema ng pagtulongsaMarawi at 'yon narinsiguro ang magiging reference natin kung paanotumulongsamga calamity-affected areas," Masongsong said.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (Philreca) has also initiated the pooling of financial assistance for Lasureco employees. It has raised close to half a million pesos as of September.
Philreca president Presley de Jesus in a recent statement likewise lauded the heroic efforts of the employees of Lasureco under the leadership of Acting General Manager NordjianaDucol.
"lndeed, the commitment and sacrifice of the personnel of Lasureco to ensure the continuous delivery of basic electricity services to the residents of the conflict-stricken city is nothing short of admirable," De Jesus said.
"Philreca is confident that Lasureco will get up on its feet quickly as it undergoes rehabilitation in order to fulfill its mandate to the member-consumer-owners," he added. ###
NEA chief to MCOs: Take advantage of electricity to improve lives
National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong has encouraged electricity consumers, especially those living in rural and remote areas of the country, to make use of the opportunities offered by electricity to improve their lives.
Masongsong said this during the 37th Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of Leyte IV Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Leyeco IV) themed "Strengthening Ties for Progress and Rural Development," on November 25 in Hilongos, Leyte. The activity gathered nearly 10,000 member-consumer-owners (MCOs) of the coop.
In his message, the NEA chief highlighted the significant role that electricity plays in achieving sustainable development, particularly in rural communities. Thus, he urged the MCOs to take full advantage and optimize the availability of power services in their area to improve their lot.
Masongsong also emphasized on empowering electricity consumers.
"I am here to advance the cause of MCO empowerment because I believe that an EC's life expectancy is dependent on its ability to keep itself relevant to its primary and most important stakeholder—the member-consumer-owners," he said.
Over the years, the NEA chief said, Leyeco IV has been a committed partner of the agency in the implementation of the Rural Electrification Program (REP). The coop was also commended for continually striving for excellence in fulfilling its mandate.
Steered by Board of Directors (BOD) president Emmanuel Golo and general manager Brenda Flores-Ampolitod, Leyeco IV received an overall outstanding performance of AAA in the recent assessment of NEA.
"You are continuing the tradition of excellence in the management of your electric cooperative. This is why I am elated to see former or retired employees, your former general manager and Board president attending your AGMA," Masongsong said.
Leyeco IV is the distributor of electricity to Baybay City, Hilongos, Bato, Matalom, Hindang and Inopacan. To date, the coop's household connections reached at 68,197 in its entire coverage area.
On November 24, Masongsong also graced the 13th Foundation Day and 6th Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative, Inc. - Area 2 (NEECO II-Area 2). Held in Palayan City Gymnasium, the activity drew 20,013 MCOs in attendance.
Also, NEECO I conducted on the same day its 44th Founding Anniversary and 26th AGMA themed "Sustaining Progress" with the NEA chief as guest speaker. It was attended by 14,180 MCOs or 15.93 percent of the coop's total membership. ###
NEA holds Renewable Energy Investors and Businesses Conference
As part of the month-long observance of this year’s National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM), the National Electrification Administration (NEA) recently hosted the Renewable Energy Investors and Businesses Conference, which gathered some 700 participants from 117 electric cooperatives nationwide.
The event, held at the NEA H.E.S. Auditorium in Quezon City on Thursday (August 3), kicked off with opening remarks from NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, who urged all electric cooperatives to pursue the use of mini-grids and distributed generated systems to provide electricity to the nation’s remotest areas.
The NEA is mandated to implement the government’s rural electrification program.
Masongsong said the government has set the goal to achieve ninety percent (90%) household electrification by 2017. However, energizing the remote and isolated communities is not easy, he said, citing the archipelagic characteristics of the Philippines as the biggest challenge.
Two million households across the country are still without access to electricity according to the latest government electrification data.
“The remoteness of many areas especially small islands scattered within the archipelago and the isolated upland communities make it impossible for all potential consumers to be connected to the main electricity grid,” he said.
Mini-grids, the NEA chief further said, offer a potential solution to provide electricity connections to remote communities that do not have access to the power grid.
“Understandably high upfront costs often make this approach prohibitive. Nevertheless, in increasing universal access to energy, these communities need a flexible, stable and reliable electricity supply for a sustainable socioeconomic development in these far-flung villages,” Masongsong said.
“Given the constraints in providing reliable and adequate electrification services in remote and isolated areas as well as assuring power supply sufficiency in the electric cooperatives’ franchise, the NEA wants to encourage the ECs to pursue the use of mini-grids and distributed generations,” he added.
Among the invited speakers at the Renewable Energy Investors and Businesses Conference were National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) Chairman Jose Layug, Jr. and Department of Energy – Renewable Energy Management Bureau (DOE-REMB) Director Mario Marasigan.
Last August 2, NEA also held various activities in support of NEAM including the ceremonial switch-on of the 12 millionth consumer connection and the opening of the Renewable Energy Investors Exhibit. This year’s NEAM coincides with the 48th Founding Anniversary of NEA on August 6. ###