Pro co-op conversion reps may block DOE, ERC, NEA budgets

MALAYBALAY CITY – (Bukidnon News Dispatch/10 September)
Representatives supporting the conversion of electric cooperatives
from the regulation of the National Electrification Administration to
the Cooperative Development Authority might block the budgets of the
Department of Energy, the NEA, and the Energy Regulatory Commission if
the agencies do not make the members’ contribution for capital
expenditures  (MCC) transparent, Rep. Crecente Paez of the Cooperative
– National Confederation of Cooperatives (Coop-NATCO) said.Paez said Saturday they wrote separate letters to the Department of
Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission last week to let them know
of their group’s position amid budget hearings in Congress.

“We want the MCC to be clearly accounted for and for the electric
cooperatives to treat it as owned by the electric consumers,” Paez,
added, after he and Atong Koop Rep. Isidro Lico spoke at the Bukidnon
Power Consumers Forum here organized by the CDA, the Association of
Consumers of Electricity, and the Provincial Cooperative Development
Council.

He cited a core group of eight party-list representatives who backed
the move and now being supported by at least 20 other congressmen.

“We want the ERC to issue a memorandum to electric cooperatives to
account the MCC and for them to report about how the money was used,”
Paez added. Ating Koop Rep. Lico said the campaign for the conversion
is snowballing in Congress with the 57-member party list block.

He said the electric cooperatives must be directed to disclose the
details of their capex (capital expenditures), the account to which
the MCC were supposed to be spent.

Rep. Nicanor Briones of the Agricultural Sector Alliance of the
Philippines (AGAP) and other party-list groups last month have
announced their demand for an investigation on the alleged
questionable electric charges being passed on to consumers by electric
cooperatives.
AGAP has announced that around P55 billion from close to five million
member consumers is in question.

Briones sent a letter to rep. Joseph Emilo Abaya, Chairman of the
Committee on Appropriations, asking the deferment of the approval of
the budget of Department of Energy (DOE), National Electrification
Authority (NEA), and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) until the
questionable electric charges are clarified.

Paez said the NEA should also allot funds for the education campaign
en route to a referendum on the transfer of electric cooperatives to
CDO.

“If they will not give this a chance, we will block the approval of
their budget in Congress,” Paez said.

But he clarified that they are not compelling the ERC and the NEA to
convert the electric cooperatives. He said they are only asking them
to make the electric cooperatives use of the MCC more transparent.

Orlando Ravanera, CDA 10 regional director and currently officer in
charge of the CDA, has strongly campaigned for the conversion. He said
the move would make power rates cheaper as electric cooperatives
registered to the CDA are tax exempt and make consumers really become
owners of the firms with dividends at the end of the year. (Walter I.
Balane)

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One Response

  1. […] Pro co-op conversion reps may block DOE, ERC, NEA budgets (bukidnonews.wordpress.com) […]

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