Motivated by the common desire to pursue meaningful reforms in the rural energy sector, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) strengthened its partnership with the 121 electric cooperatives (ECs) under its watch, the ECs’ respective members, and consumers and owners (MCOs) and vowed to spearhead programs aimed at addressing key issues affecting the power sector.
Around 1,200 EC delegates from all over the country attended the consultative conference organized by the NEA at the Big 8 Corporate Hotel on Thursday. The agenda included, among others, proposed plans concerning power distribution utilities and their customers.
The annual gathering also sought to update the ECs and other industry stakeholders regaridng the latest vision, policy thrusts, and strategic initiatives of the NEA anchored on the pro-poor agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte.
NEA Chief Edgardo Masongsong extended his deep gratitude to EC representatives and MCOs for their unwavering support for the rural electrification program of the agency, which was made more evident by the recent launch of the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO).
NCECCO was formally introduced to the public last Wednesday at the atrium of Tagum City Hall where nearly 6,000 electric consumers showed up to establish themselves as vital players in the power industry.
This “dramatic exercise of force and fortitude,” as Masongsong put it in his speech, was not lost on the NEA. The administrator considered it a “laudable feat” that could significantly help the agency fulfill its mandate to energize all sitios in the country.
“The event is a living proof that indeed the national movement to carve history to change the power industry is now in the making. Change has begun towards realizing the dream of the President to level the playing field in the power industry, thereby uplifting the lives of the vast majority of Filipinos,” he said.
Masongsong honored key NCECCO figures during the morning session of the conference led by its National Chairman Akmad Mamalinta, Vice Chairman Reynaldo Lazo, Secretary-General Erico Bucoy, and other officials of the newly-established organization.
Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario also welcomed the movement, especially since he and his fellow Davaoeños are increasingly getting tired of complaining about the unstable supply of electricity in the country, particularly in Mindanao.
“We hope that with your presence here today—and, of course, with yesterday’s activity with the electric consumers—we hope that in the last two days you will come up with solutions in order to help Mindanao realize its dream of having cheap supply of electricity,” del Rosario said in his remarks.
The consultative conference this year carries the theme “NEA-ECs-MCOs: Forging Change Towards Nation Building.” It is a two-day affair that will also touch on the federalism plans of President Duterte and its potential impact on the rural electrification program.
The gathering will conclude tomorrow by the signing of fresh commitments, through the Tagum Declaration, prior to the 2017 Lumens Awards—where top-performing ECs that provided excellent services will receive awards and special citations.