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.