Northern Mindanao Power Coops Urged to Invest in R&D


Mindanao electric cooperatives (ECs) gathered for a two-day refresher course on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) held at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City.

Gracing the activity was National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong who urged the ECs to invest in research and development to remain competitive and to better address the challenges facing the power industry.

Masingsong also recognized the need for the NEA to establish its own research and development unit.

“I am advocating for the establishment of a research and development unit in NEA. We need a pool of experts who can generate, consolidate and analyze data on the power industry,” the NEA chief added.

He likewise stressed that research is essential in policy formulation. “We in the electric cooperatives must, in our right, be experts in matters regarding power industry,” Masongsong said.

“We cannot move forward without research and development. We have to understand bilateral agreements and contracts. How do we protect the interest of our consumers if we don’t understand anything about the industry? We owe it to our kids and grandkids,” he explained.

Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BENECO) general manager Gerardo Verzosa, meanwhile, shared their experience on WESM and other dynamics in the power industry to Northern Mindanao ECs.

“We do not shirk from sharing our best practices. Ultimately, we belong to one family. I just hope ECs here in Mindanao can gather enough information to better their performance and operations, and redound these to the greater benefit of Mindanao electricity consumers,” he said.

The Seminar Workshop on the WESM, which will end on Wednesday (November 15), is organized by the NEA-EC Training Institute in partnership with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines.


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