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 *** new electric rate will be posted on  February 15, 2018

NEA guns for solutions to ARRM coops’ woes

In the drive to find solutions to the problems besetting the electric cooperatives (ECs) in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong has called for the first time a consultative conference with Board of Directors, General Managers, and Management Staff of Magelco, Baselco, Suleco, Tawelco, Siaselco and Lanao Sur Power Cooperative (or Lasureco) at the NEA headquarters in Quezon City on 13 March 2017.

The Administrator said, “As we build momentum towards the full revitalization of ARMM, I want to assure our ECs and all the stakeholders in the Region that NEA will continue to instigate initiatives that will bring power to the unelectrified areas and hasten the delivery of efficient electricity service to spur livelihood opportunities for the people in ARMM.”

 ARMM Vice Governor Haroun Alrashid A. Lucman Jr., Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mamintal “Bombit” A. Adiong, Jr., Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Romeo M. Montenegro were among those who attended, shared inputs and proposed solutions to improve governance, recover organizational effectiveness and advance overall operational efficiency of the ECs.

“NEA is strengthening its communication lines to all sectors of government to realize a reliable and efficient electrification program for the member-consumer-owners in the countryside. This is in line with the directive of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to adopt a pro-poor approach to governance and take-up the cause of the poorest of the poor in any way possible,” Administrator Masongsong added.

Aside from ARMM, MinDA and Province of Lanao del Sur, top executives from the local government units (LGUs and National Government Agencies (NGAs) operating in the Region were also in attendance namely: Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP), Department of National Defense (DND), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), National Power Corporation (NPC), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation,

An inter-agency coordinating committee has been created to meet again to finalize plans, programs, projects and activities before meeting with the President to seek his support towards total development of the Region.

New hydropower plant to generate 250 MW for Bukidnon

In a bid to ensure reliable supply of electricity in Mindanao, First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FIBECO) and Pulangui Hydro Power Corporation (PHPC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on March 8 to kick off the construction of the 250-MW Pulangui 5 hydro power plant in Bukidnon. 

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and National Electrification Administration (NEA) Chief Edgardo Masongsong were on hand during the signing ceremony at Solaire Resorts and Casino, Pasay City. 

"The construction of Pulangui 5 will be the beginning of the realization of our goal to jumpstart economic activity in Mindanao and ensure sustainable power supply for the country,” said Masongsong, who, like Sen. Zubiri is from Mindandao. 

According to the NEA chief, the NEA and its partner electric cooperatives are actively involved in securing investments in power plant projects "not only to address our growing energy requirements, but also to achieve the social and economic change envisioned by President Rodrigo R. Duterte for the country.”

The Pulangui 5 hydro power plant, valued at US$800 million, is expected to be completed in 2020 or 2021.

According to Masongsong, “FIBECO will be part owner of the power plant, with shares of stock under negotiation.” 

“The construction of Pulangui 5 is in line with the thrust of the NEA to generate greater efficiencies in the power distribution system of the electric cooperatives," stressed the former legislator. 

"Revenues from the project will contribute to the reduction of power rates for electricity consumers in the franchise of the EC." 

During the ceremony, FIBECO was represented by the Board of Directors and Management led by its President, Director Romeo Pacanan, and General Manager, Rey Balaba. 

Meanwhile, PHPC was led by Chairman Michael Chen, together with consultant Dr. Regin Mordeno and Mr Sean Lin of Energy China.

Strict enforcement of good governance policies for electric coops to protect electricity consumers - NEA

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) assured the public on February 20, 2017 that measures are already in place to ensure that power supply agreements (PSAs) and other related contracts entered into by electric cooperatives (ECs) are legal and above-board, in line with presidential directives to protect the interests of electricity consumers.

According to NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong, the NEA “is focused on ensuring that all dealings of the ECs are fair and transparent, and reflect the Administration's commitment to implement pro-people reforms."

"These efforts," added the former legislator from Mindanao, "are consistent with the directives of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, who want us to prioritize the welfare and interests of power consumers."

Masongsong said that the NEA has formulated and will now implement policies operationalizing the existing guidelines for the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) of the PSAs of ECs.

“This is necessary in order to ensure that ECs observe appropriate procurement procedures, including transparent and competitive bidding, in the conduct of their operations," stressed the NEA chief.

"We believe that this will deter contract rigging and foster efficient, transparent, and public competition in the power supply procurement of the ECs, thereby lowering the costs of EC operations and ultimately benefiting electricity consumers.”

The said policies, emphasized Masongsong, are pursuant to Republic Act 10531, otherwise known as the National Electrification Administration Reform Act of 2013, which authorizes and empowers the NEA to develop, set, and enforce institutional and governance standards for the efficient operation of the ECs.? ?Based on these guidelines, ECs are now directed to submit the Terms of Reference (TOR) in their power supply procurement or their PSAs for the review and approval of the NEA prior to publication or posting of their invitations to bid.

Bidding procedures are likewise directed to be conducted in open and public venues that encourage attendance and participation from local government units, non-government offices, and business groups within the coverage area of the EC. Video documentation of the said procedures by the ECs have likewise been required by the NEA.

NEA activates task force to take over Davao del Norte power coop

National Electrification Administration (NEA) Chief Edgardo R. Masongsong said that a task force is officially being activated by the Agency on March 01, 2017 to take over the operations and management of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative. Inc. (Daneco).

At the NEA-ECs Media Relations Convocation held on February 21, 2017, Masongsong said, “we are forming Task Force Duterte Northern Davao Power to decisively bring closure to the legal problems that have hounded Daneco, and that have consequently affected its Member-Consumer-Owners (MCOs).”

“This is consistent with the provisions of the Republic Act 10531, which empowers NEA to supervise all electric cooperatives, whether NEA or CDA-registered, as well as with the decisions of the Supreme Court in G.R. Nos. 213243-48 and G.R. No. 213740, which uphold NEA’s juridical role to manage Daneco.”

According to the Administrator, “Task Force Duterte Northern Davao Power will form part of the Agency’s strategies to effect transparency and reform in the operations of electric cooperatives nationwide, and will be aligned with the pro-people cause of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.”

Specifically, the task force is directed to implement the decision of the Supreme Court, as well as secure a memorandum of support from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and other government agencies in undertaking actions that will lead to the cessation of CDA’s role in Daneco’s operations.

It will likewise be given powers “to review the governance policies and practices of the cooperative to ensure that its performance meets or even exceeds the parameters and standards set by the NEA for all power coops.”

Under the EC’s Performance Assessment, power coops are required to have at least one month power and non-power cost in their cash general fund. They are also mandated to have at least 95% collection efficiency and a system loss below the 13% cap, and must register positive standing in their profitability and net worth. Their accounts payable must also be current or restructured current.

“As we continue to build a platform of change, NEA will see to it that the welfare of the power consumers is consistently given attention and that our power coops are capacitated to respond to the growing expectations of their membership,” Administrator Masongsong said.

“NEA will exert all efforts to ensure that our power coops become vital link to our goal of guaranteeing reliable, sustainable, and affordable power supply for all.”


Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power hits the ground running

Barely a month after Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power took over the operations of the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Lasureco), employees of the electric cooperative (EC) are now receiving their salaries on time, as Lasureco Acting General Manager Nordjiana Ducol bared plans to rehabilitate the ailing coop.  

“As a result of our active collection activities, we are now able to disburse salaries of our employees without delay. This has led to greater commitment from our people to perform efficiently and unify behind Administrator Masongsong’s thrust for transparency and reform,” Ducol said.  

National Electrification Administration (NEA) Chief Edgardo Masongsong activated Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power in January this year to review Lasureco’s governance policies and institute needed reforms in the financial, institutional, and technical areas of the EC operations. 

Administrator Masongsong said “the Task Force will be on top of reinforcing the vision and mission statements of the coop, as well as obtaining commitment building from EC leaders and other stakeholders to hasten the implementation of rural electrification projects in the province.” 

 According to Acting GM Ducol, collection revenue of the coop surged to P7 million from February 1 to 15, 2017 billing period, as against the P4 million revenue collected from January 1 to 15 of the same year.  

She stressed that the high collection rate of the coop is a result of their regular information dissemination and consumer education campaigns, as well as the ongoing computerization of their billing system.  

A quick response team, she said, was likewise formed “to respond to customer complaints and queries within two hours, or as early as possible, and mobilize ground personnel to inspect dilapidated electric poles, overloaded kWh meters, and faulty wiring system.”  

Ducol said “all these measures aimed at intensifying our revenue generating capacity have helped us provide better working conditions for our employees and motivate them to be our partners in the rural electrification initiatives.”  

According to Administrator Masongsong, “NEA is effecting these reforms not only to boost the morale of the coop’s employees, but ultimately cushion the Member-Consumer-Owners from undue harm brought about by a number of operational challenges that have hounded Lasureco.”  

“Through Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power, we hope to finally consolidate a good governance platform that will be aligned to the agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte to uplift the lives of the Filipinos, especially the poorest of the poor.”



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