Electric cooperatives (ECs) should come up with innovative ways to reach out to their member-consumer-owners (MCOs) and get them involved in shaping decisions that will affect their respective communities, said National Electrification Administration (NEA) Chief Edgardo Masongsong.
The ECs can also make good use of technology to improve public participation especially during regular membership activities, Masongsong said, just like what the Misamis Oriental II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (MORESCO II) has been doing.
On October 21, MORESCO II held its 38th Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) with no less than the NEA chief as the keynote speaker. This year’s theme, “Member-Consumers’ Involvement: Key to Empowerment,” mirrors NEA’s vision to empower all the MCOs nationwide.
The gathering, which brought together a total of 20,476 MCOs, was broadcast simultaneously from its main venue at the Arturo S. Lugod Memorial Sports and Cultural Center in Gingoog City to two other different sites in the municipalities of Balingasag and Kinoguitan, in Misamis Oriental.
Masongsong, in his keynote address, praised MORESCO II for once again bringing this year’s AGMA closer to their member-consumers. He said the synchronized AGMA is a confirmation that the coop is committed to fulfilling its mandate to provide better services to the communities they serve.
“I hope in the future we can hold our simultaneous assembly in not just three but five venues, if possible, so that more people can attend. Coming to the AGMA is good for us because we get to know what is happening with our electric cooperative – its performance, achievements, and its plans,” the NEA chief said.
The AGMA is an annual event where stakeholders of the power distribution utility gather to discuss the annual report concerning its activities and finances as well as the issues and concerns affecting the EC and the MCOs.
Likewise, Masongsong presented the positive impacts of rural electrification on the lives of the Filipinos in far-flung areas; his seven-point electrification agenda along with President Rodrigo Duterte’s and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s agenda; and the agency’s other initiatives to better serve the ECs and the MCOs.
As part of the program, Masongsong administered the oath of office of the newly elected members of the Moresco II Board of Directors (BOD). The NEA chief likewise led the symbolic mass oath-taking of the Moresco II MCOs as members of the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO).
Meanwhile, MORESCO II general manager Ronel Cañada said the synchronized AGMA marks the third year in a row the electric cooperative has done this.
“We have to involve all the stakeholders of the coop so that they can also help and understand how important their role is in improving delivery of services,” Cañada said.
For this year, MORESCO II proposed three resolutions: redistricting, endorsement of the Anti-Power Line Disturbance Act, and support for the proposed amendments in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). The latter called for the reinstatement of the franchising and regulatory powers of the NEA.
Categorized as Triple A EC, MORESCO II is the distributor of electricity to Gingoog City and the municipalities of Magsaysay, Medina, Talisayan, Balingoan, Kinoguitan, Sugbongcogon, Binuangan, Salay, Lagonglong, Balingasag, Claveria, and Jasaan, all in Misamis Oriental. At present, the coop’s total connection has reached 76,000 households out of 82,602 potential households.
From 2011 to 2016, MORESCO II completed the energization of 570 sitios under the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), which benefited 6,549 households at a cost of P407 million. For this year, the government has allocated P55.5 million for the energization of 50 sitios within the franchise area of Moresco II.