In an effort to rehabilitate the ailing Abra Electric Cooperative (ABRECO), the National Electrification Administration (NEA) officially took over the management and operations of the power distribution utility and deactivated its current Board of Directors (BOD).
NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong accompanied the members of the newly-created Task Force Duterte Abra Power in a meeting with the employees and officials of ABRECO to help ensure a smooth takeover.
This developed days after the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) issued the Notice of Default and Notice of Suspension against ABRECO due to its failure to pay over P200 million in power supply bills.
“With the recent development relative to the Notice of Default and Notice of Suspension issued by the PEMC, NEA is under obligation to take over the management and operations of ABRECO to protect the welfare and interest of the electric cooperative and its member-consumer-owners (MCOs),” Masongsong said.
Earlier, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi directed the NEA to address the financial and management problems of ABRECO decisively, citing increasing complaints of poor and unreliable service from its MCOs.
Abra Rep. Joseph Santo Niño Bernos also issued a statement urging the Department of Energy to intervene and stop the order of PEMC to suspend ABRECO from the wholesale electricity spot market.
To recall, Masongsong issued Office Order No. 2017-168 in September last year creating the Task Force to take charge of the rehabilitation of ABRECO. The order was pursuant to Section 5 (a) Chapter II and Sections 4-A and B of Presidential Decree No. 269, as amended by Republic Act No. 10531.
Chaired by NEA Deputy Administrator for Electric Cooperative Management Services Atty. Goldelio Rivera, the Task Force will serve as Electric Cooperative Board of Directors prescribed under NEA Bulletin No. 35.
To supervise the management and operations of ABRECO, NEA has designated Atty. Xerxes Adzuara as Project Supervisor. Charito Mabitazan, meanwhile, has been assigned as Acting General Manager to manage the day-to-day operations and ensure the efficient delivery of services to MCOs.
Other members of the Task Force are Reynaldo Lazo and Engr. Felino Herbert Agdigos, board president and general manager (GM) of Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (INEC), respectively; Atty. Gloria Corrales and Engr. Egdon Sabio, board president and GM of Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ISECO), respectively; and Rocky Aliping and Gerardo Versoza, board president and GM of Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BENECO), respectively.
National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) national chairman Retired General Akmad Mamalinta joined the team in the takeover to coordinate the maintenance of peace and order and provide security.
With the goal of re-engineering ABRECO into an excellently performing distribution utility, the Task Force is expected to meet specific deliverables, which include the conduct of election for Board of Directors; selection and appointment of a regular GM; establishment of a lean and mean organizational structure with competent workforce; come up with well-informed and participative member-consumers and stakeholders; plan and implement capital expenditures projects towards power reliability, system efficiency, and reduction of system losses; prevent power curtailment due to power shortages and outages; and achieve management and operational performance within the NEA parameters and standards.
The Task Force was formed after the NEA Board of Administrators, in its Resolution No. 113 dated September 5, 2017, ordered the deactivation of the Abreco’s Board of Directors due to its failure to lead the cooperative to meet the operational and financial standards and parameters prescribed by the NEA and considering the material and significant adverse audit findings on its operations as contained in the Comprehensive Audit Report.