The Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DANECO) and the group associated with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) on Thursday signed a memorandum of agreement, signifying the end of a seven-year-long rift between the two factions.
National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong witnessed the formal signing of the document, which recognizes the legitimacy of DANECO, Inc. as the “sole and true entity” to run the affairs of the power distribution utility.
“There are still 28 percent unenergized, unserved households. There are still a lot of sitios that we need to electrify.”
In his speech at the signing ceremony, Masongsong said this agreement will usher in a new beginning for DANECO and its member-consumer-owners (MCOs) under a new proposed name, Northern Davao Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NORDECO).
“At the end of the day, we should always consider the people in the two provinces and the interests of our member-consumer-owners. The only way to do that is for us to have one electric cooperative. Let us leave the past behind and look forward to a new chapter,” Masongsong said.
The NEA chief also seized the opportunity to express his gratitude to the local government units of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, as well as the members of the Task Force Duterte Northern Davao Power for paving the way towards the reconciliation and unification of the two groups.
“The dream of rural development will only be realized if there is electric service.”
Masongsong acknowledged the fact that the conflict between the two factions, which began in 2012, had taken a toll on the electrification level of DANECO that remains at 72 percent.
“There are still 28 percent unenergized, unserved households. There are still a lot of sitios that we need to (electrify). The dream of access to electricity for all, the dream of rural development will only be realized if there is electric service,” he said.
Also present to witness this welcome development were Governor Edwin Jubahib and Representative Alan Dujali of Davao del Norte and Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy and Senior Board Member Arturo Uy of Compostela Valley.
Governor Uy, in his message, admitted that the rift between the two groups affected the economic growth of their province.
“We are very happy of this momentous event that both sides have reconciled in the spirit of unity,” he said, noting the sincerity of DANECO, Inc. to revitalize its operations.
Signing the agreement for DANECO, Inc. were NEA Project Supervisor Engr. Emmanuel Galarse and Acting General Manager Mario Angelo Sotto. The signatories for DANECO-CDA, meanwhile, were General Manager Jerold Osorio and Board Director Eliseo Tan.
“This has been our intention when we assumed the office as members of the Task Force Duterte Northern Davao Power—that a day will come that there will be a reconciliation, that there will be a unification, which God gave to us today,” Sotto said.
Under the MOA, the CDA group committed to “cease and desist from undertaking any acts relating to the performance of any matters that has to do with the official functions of DANECO, Inc., in recognition of the latter’s legal and juridical personality.”
The document further stipulated that the group shall submit “all the records at hand including but not limited to the list of its recognized member-consumers, the payments made by the member-consumers, any contracts entered into with supplier of materials, if there is any, including the receipts of payments made to power suppliers.”
It is also agreed upon that DANECO, Inc. “may extend financial assistance” to the employees and officers of the DANECO-CDA who will be affected by the dissolution of its legal personality.
Displaced workers will also be assisted and referred by both parties to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and other government agencies for appropriate assistance.
To facilitate a “smooth, organized and effective working relationship” between the two parties, a transition team will be formed composed of 10 members, five coming from each party, according to the agreement.
DANECO used to be a top performing electric cooperative, which covers the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley including Tagum City and the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS).