The Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DANECO) under the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has taken a step forward in improving its collection efficiency by offering a flexible payment scheme to their member-consumers having difficulties paying their energy bills and facing disconnection.
Board Director Rey Nagar of the Task Force (TF) Duterte-Northern Davao Power (NDP) reported an improvement in the cooperative’s collection over the past three months since the “balik loob” program was aggressively imposed in May.
The electric cooperative’s monthly collection has posted at P350 million since May, a P60 million increase from the P290 million collection in April this year, the official said.
The “balik loob” program, Nagar said, aimed at giving delinquent DANECO member-consumer-owners (MCOs) an opportunity to settle their past due electricity bills via flexible terms when they cannot pay in full, taking into consideration their financial condition.
“Gumawa tayo ng policy at doon sa policy 15 percent dapat ‘yung down payment nila then ‘yung 85 percent is restructured up to two years. Pero sa laki na ng utang ng MCO natin, talagang tanggapin na natin ‘yung katotohanan na hindi na talaga kayang bayaran,” he said.
“Palaging sinasabi ni (NEA) Administrator (Edgardo Masongsong) na they are not just consumers but owners so talagang inintindi na talaga namin sila. Sa tingin din namin kasi hindi rin sila ang may kasalanan kundi biktima na kailangan tulungan,” he added.
However, those who refuse to settle their accounts, particularly the prominent ones with unpaid electricity bills worth P100,000 and up, after receiving a demand letter from the electric cooperative will be made subject to appropriate legal actions, he said.
In Tagum area alone, Nagar said, 11,000 households have past due amounts on their electricity bills.
Meanwhile, Administrator Masongsong praised the efforts of DANECO-NEA, which he said will soon be called the Northern Davao Light and Power Cooperative, for “going aggressive” on collecting outstanding consumer accounts.
“I laud the Task Force Duterte-Northern Davao Power for their creativity in coming up with an initiative to lure back former consumers and taking bold steps to address the problems besetting the electric cooperative,” the NEA chief said.
DANECO covers the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley including the cities of Tagum and Island Garden City of Samal, serving 162,000 member-consumer-owners (MCOs). The electric cooperative also provides electricity to 16 municipalities.