The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is eyeing the creation of more task forces to take over the operations of “ailing” electric cooperatives (ECs) or those "on the brink of bankruptcy."
NEA Chief Edgardo Masongsong issued this statement during the press conference for the official launch of the first National Summit of Electric Consumers on Thursday, April 6, at Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel in Davao City.
Masongsong said Task Force Duterte have been activated for Lanao Sur and Camarines area to enforce specific governance programs and help Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Lasureco)/Lanao Sur Power and Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Casureco III) become more economically and operationally viable.
"We are creating more task forces to cover the 10 electric cooperatives that are categorized as ailing," he said.
The creation of task forces forms part of NEA's legal power to exercise step-in rights both for ailing ECs and those whose operations can still be turned around. "When you say "ailing," there are so many parameters like the issue of financial capability, technical capability, institutional capability and legal capability," the Administrator added.
Step-in rights refer to the legal authority vested in the Agency to implement interventions that will address an ailing EC's arrearages in power supply purchases, high systems loss, low collection efficiency, operating loss, among others.
Masongsong cited the case of Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Daneco) recently categorized by NEA as "C" in the EC Overall Performance Assessment.
He said the agency activated early this year the Task Force Duterte Northern Davao Power to take over the operations and management of Daneco and ensure its compliance to NEA-set performance parameters and standards.
"The task force is now settling down in order to take over really the whole operation," the NEA chief said. "The ball is now with the Cooperative Development Authority or the CDA to cancel the registration."
Administrator Masongsong previously said that the task force was formed to bring closure to the legal problems that hounded Daneco which affected its member-consumer-owners.
Meanwhile, the Administrator expressed support for the 1st National Summit of Electric Consumers scheduled to take place on April 26 in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. Around 5,000 delegates are expected to attend the conference.
Organized by the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers (NCECCO) in coordination with NEA, the activity is aimed at finding solutions to address the urgent and strategic issues confronting the electricity consumers.
The 2017 NEA-Electric Cooperatives (EC) Consultative Conference and Recognition of Outstanding ECs will also be held in Tagum City on April 27 and 28.
The two-day activity, which will bring together around 1,200 delegates from 121 ECs nationwide, will discuss initiatives toward the strengthening of partnerships among NEA, the ECs, and the consumers.