NEA to lend P1.7B to distressed power coops

National Electrification Administration chair Edgardo Masongsong bared on Thursday that NEA is forking out a total of P1.7Billion this year to bail out electric cooperatives that suffered financial setbacks.

In addition, the state-run agency has as off February 20, extended calamity loans worth P217.451 million to seven ECs affected by typhoon Nina namely Marinduque Electric Cooperative, Inc. (MARELCO) P14 million), First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) (P42.647 million), Camarines Sur I Electric Cooperative (CASURECO I) P11.805 million), CASURECO II P24.239 million), CASURECO III (PhP20.582 million), CASURECO IV P62.294 million), and Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc.(ORMECO) P41.885 million).

Over 1,000 delegates from 121 electric cooperatives with gather on April 26 to 28 at the Big 8 Corporate Hotel, Tagum City for the first National Summit of Electric Consumers.

The event will highlight the 2017 NEA-Electric Cooperative Consultative Conference, Lumens Awards Ceremonies, as well as the formal launching of National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers (NCECCO).

In a press conference on at the Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel, Davao City, NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong announced electricity consumers from the provinces should expect better power services as they will discuss new initiatives toward the strengthening of partnerships among NEA, the ECs, and consumers, including measures to improve ECs’ operational efficiency and activate local consumer groups.

According to Masongsong, NEA has been conducting a series of consultative meetings, strategic development planning, and commitment signing with concern to ECs to map out possible management strategies to address issues on settlement of power accounts, collection efficiency, liquidity and profitability, peace and order, among others.

Meanwhile, Masongsong bared that ninety-seven electric cooperatives (ECs), or 80% out of the 121 ECs in the country are now categorized A or higher, as the National Electrification Administration (NEA) released last week the results of the 2016 EC Overall Assessment Performance.

“The NEA, together with the 121 ECs nationwide, is one with the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte in intensifying rural development as a vital component of economic growth. To achieve this, we endeavour to institute more capacity-building programs for the ECs and activate local consumer groups that will help us sustain electrification in the grassroots level,” said the NEA chief.

NEA also updated that power restoration for households affected by typhoons Lawin and Nina was already completed while 76,805 households affected by the Surigao quake were fully energized by February 15, 2017.

Masongsong said NEA is now finalizing the EC Comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan (EC-CDRRMP) following the directive of Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi to come up with disaster protocols designed to mitigate the impact of damages to electric infrastructures of the ECs and accelerate power restoration in calamity-hit areas.

The NEA chief said calamities are just one of the major setbacks that affect the fulfillment of the vision of the agency, aside from issues of peace and order, and political interventions