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 *** new electric rate will be posted on  April 15, 2017

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.

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.”

NEA pump primes CASURECO III for Typhoon Nina restoration efforts

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has initiated remedial measures to pump prime the power restoration efforts in Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO III) following the directive of Energy Secretary and NEA Board Chair Alfonso G. Cusi to fast track the rehabilitation of damaged distribution lines caused by super-typhoon Nina which stands at 76.87% in terms of households re-energized as of 3:00 pm of January 31, 2017.

“The people deserve the best and most efficient service that the electric cooperatives (ECs) can provide. They already suffer the wrath of nature. It is unfair that they are also deprived of the most basic necessities in life, electricity, among others”, said Secretary Cusi.

CASURECO III is one of the ECs in the Bicol Region which was heavily damaged by Typhoon Nina with 75,388 consumers affected. The rehabilitation of distribution line and power restoration become an enormous task for CASURECO III even with the assistance of a Task Force Kapatid team of coops from Regions VI and VIII, namely ILECO III, CAPELCO, ANTECO, DORELCO/LEYECO I, LEYECO II & LEYECO III and Private Electric Distribution Utilities from Region III such as CELCOR, DECORP and TEI. (Other ECs like CENECO, LEYECO V, BILECO, SORECO I & II also pledged support for CASURECO III).

The operation of TFK was hampered by massive flooding due to heavy downpour and bad weather condition in early January in the towns of Baao, Balatan, Bato, Buhi, Bula, and the City of Iriga. Other factors which derailed the project completion include the coop’s mountainous and difficult terrain, delay in the delivery of electrical materials and limited manpower available vis-à-vis the magnitude of destruction in the coop’s distribution facilities.

To address these issues, NEA, headed by Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong, together with CASURECO I General Manager Ana Sylvia M. Alsisto & CASURECO IV General Manager Veronica T. Briones, met with CASURECO III Board of Directors and Management to help formulate the best possible courses of action that will be carried out for the immediate rehabilitation of facilities and resumption of power. TFK teams will be divided into sub-teams to handle different areas of concern. CASURECO I & IV will deploy additional linemen to work on massive service dropping. Additional TFK teams from Regions III & IV such as QUEZELCO II, PELCO III, PRESCO, ZAMECO I & II and NEECO I will be mobilized to reinforce the existing teams working on the project.

Administrator Masongsong said, “This kind of situation tests the ability of ECs to endure the difficulties in operation especially during this time of crisis. These experiences shall teach and hone ECs to become more resilient and disaster-ready in order to protect the best interest of the people.”

Starting February 01, 2017, a change on leadership will be effected to take the rein of CASURECO III. Dubbed as Task Force Duterte Rinconada Power, the new team shall perform duties and responsibilities of an EC Board of Directors prescribed under NEA Bulletin No. 35. It is also expected to lead the coop to meet the operational and financial parameters set by NEA to better address the needs and demands of the CASURECO III member-consumer-owners (MCOs)

SURNECO team deserves credit for speedy power restoration in quake-hit areas—NEA

The Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Surneco) deserves credit for making power available in the quake-hit areas at the soonest possible time after a magnitude 6.7 quake resulted in power outages in Surigao City and other municipalities in the province of Surigao del Norte.

This according to National Electrification Administration (NEA) Chief Edgardo Masongsong, who on Sunday lauded the officials and employees of Surneco "for heeding the call of duty even if they themselves were affected by the earthquake."

"This crisis displays the commitment of the electric cooperative to prioritize the interests of the Member-Consumer-Owners and lessen the impact of the calamity on their daily activity,” said the NEA chief. 

As of February 12, 2017, Surigao City and all four affected municipalities under the coverage area of Surneco are already energized. The four municipalities include San Francisco, Malimono, Sison, and Taganaan.

Administrator Masongsong said that as of February 13, power restoration is already at 97%. The rest of the restoration works, he stressed, will be concentrated on reconnecting lateral lines and power lines near the coastal areas.

Masongsong flew to Surigao on Sunday to make an ocular inspection of the main office of Surneco, which was heavily damaged in the earthquake.

The estimated cost of the damage to the coop’s headquarters is estimated at seven million pesos, while line network damage is estimated at 300,000 pesos.

“We want to assure our affected Member-Consumer-Owners that the NEA and Surneco are doing round-the-clock operations to be able to provide power to areas that are as yet unenergized," Masongsong said. 

"We will likewise continue to upgrade the prepositioning capacities of electric cooperatives nationwide to allow them to better respond to calamities and other emergency situations."


National Electrician Administration (NEA) Chief Edgardo Masongsong said that the Agency is fully committed to assist the Abra Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ABRECO ) as the power cop gathers pace to implement plans to improve its operations and serve better its Member-Consumer-Owners (MCOs). 

“NEA continues to institute mechanisms that will favorably advance the cause of our electricity consumers in the province of Abra. We are following directives from President Rodrigo Duterte And Secretary Alfonso Cusi to look from the perspective of our consumers and intensity the electrification of far-flung areas to give our people a fair chance to have a meaningful and satisfying life,” the Administrator said. 

During the Strategic Development Planning Workshop held last January 13-14, 2017 at the BEHNECO Headquarters, Administrator Masongsong said that NEA has consistently utilized its resources to help prop up ABRECO’s operations, the most recent being the calamity loan worth Php10 million granted to the power coop on December 9, 2016 to aid it in its typhoon  Lawin rehabilitation efforts. 

“NEA is addressing ABRECO’s situation from all fronts. All factors are being considered-financial, operational, cultural, and political-to be able to identify the most effective strategies to turn around its operations. In terms of assistance, NEA will continue to give what is necessary to ease the burden of the coop and allow it to perform as optimally as it should,” he added. 

A Comprehensive Audit of ABRECO’s operations, he said, will be conducted by the NEA EC Audit Department to evaluate the operations of the cooperative. Possible management strategies will also be mapped out to assist the coop on issues of settlement of power accounts, implementation of organizational realignment, provision of engineering assistance programs, among others. 

From 2004 to 2014, NEA has released to ABRECO subsidy funds aggregating to Php56.6 million, which consisted of subsidies for the implementation of the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) and Barangay Line Enhancement Program (BLEP) and its procurement of a modular generator set. 

To reduce its system loss, ABRECO was granted Php2.2 million in 2004 and Php2.5 million in 2005. And, to finance its procurement of distribution system equipment and expand its rural electrification initiatives, Php7.6 million loan was given in 2003. 

Apart from the financial assistance packages, NEA has also provided support in the rehabilitation of the distribution systems of the power coop after it was hit by typhoon Lawin last October 20, 2016. NEA engineers personally monitored and supervised the reconstruction works until power 100% restored at the household level on December 14, 2016. 

A consultation meeting with the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) was also initiated by the Agency early this year to consolidate moves in addressing ABRECO’s arrearages with power suppliers and other creditors.



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