National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong conferred with the management staff of the Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Soleco) during his visit to its headquarters Thursday (March 30) in Maasin City, Southern Leyte.
Masongsong met with its Board of Directors led by its current president, Atty. Marian Donayre-Pelin, Directors Rosello Gerong and Porferio Bantugan, General Manager Jonathan Empeño and NEA representative Antonio Catre to encourage the Soleco management to implement programs in line with new policy initiatives of the agency, particularly that on the Competitive Selection Process on Power Supply Agreements.
"These initiatives are aimed at realizing President Duterte's call for fair and transparent procedures in the energy sector, without denigrating the development goals of rural electrification," Masongsong said.
Soleco powers 19 towns in Southern Leyte and has consistently received AAA rating from the agency for four consecutive years among the electric cooperatives in Eastern Visayas.
Shortly after, Masongsong went to the provincial capitol to speak with Governor Damian Mercado who sought the assistance of the national government through the NEA for the installation of a submarine cable from the mainland to Limasawa Island.
The governor hopes to obtain the equipment in time for the 500th anniversary of the historic first Catholic Mass in the country on March 31, 2021, which is expected to draw tourists. Mercado said he is looking forward to the arrival of a cruise ship from Europe to join the commemoration.
The construction of ports in the island municipality and the airport in Maasin City courtesy of the Department of Tourism and Department of Transportation is also reportedly being fast tracked in light of the event.
The provincial government saw that power supply is crucial to its ongoing preparations hence connecting the island to the grid was deemed necessary. Moreover, such developments aim to jumpstart the local economy, not only in Southern Leyte but in the provinces of Leyte and Bohol, to as far as the northeastern localities of Mindanao.