DEEP IN DEBT As DANECO, Inc. sees momentum in cleansing process

DESPITE being saddled by a P2.1Billion debt, the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DANECO,Inc.) has expressed hope on Tuesday it would be able to turn things around for the power distributor given more time.

“We are barely four months into the process and in a scale of one to 10, we are still at two in terms of accomplishment but there is no denying the momentum now,” said Mario Angelo M. Sotto, the National Electrification Administration project supervisor for DANECO.

Sotto reported on the updates of the re-constituted Task Force Duterte: Northern Davao Power in Tuesday’s 2nd executive session of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley in Tagum City.

The task force has been assigned to oversee the operations of the Daneco, Inc. in its bid to provide a “stronger, unified and competitive electric facility” for both provinces.

He also reported on the road map drawn up to strengthen management and to thresh out its differences with the “break-away” Cooperative Development Authority-aligned DANECO.

NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong expressed optimism that the issue between the DANECO, Inc. with its CDA-registered namesake does not pose a problem.

He did not say exactly why but indicated that the “there is no other choice except to implement the Supreme Court’s cease and desist” order if the CDA-registered DANECO will not come to terms.

In his report, Sotto said DANECO, Inc. incurred the P2.1Billion debt from suppliers over a five year span.

He added that the electric cooperative has a total collectibles amounting to P2.7Billion in general arrears.

Among individual arrears, the city of Tagum alone owed the electric cooperative P5Billion, he said.

He added that for so long as the ‘culture of corruption’ is not cleansed from the utility’s system, the management will never be able to achieve its mission and vision for the two provinces.

Congressman Ruwel S. Gonzaga of Compostela Valley province said the DANECO, Inc. is on the right track in its cleansing process and has pledged his support in facilitating the release of NEA funds for electrification with the Department of Budget and Management.

Govs. Tyron Uy and Anthony G. del Rosario, of Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte, respectively, also, expressed support for the task force’s effort to reform and to rehabilitate the utility.

They also called on power consumers to support the reforms undertaken by the task force.

Sotto said that the NEA is fully supportive of the reforms and has in fact approved P487 million in capital expenditures loan for the rehabilitation of the utility’s facilities and infrastructure. (JKL)