The National Electrification Administration (NEA) announced that it will issue show cause orders against the Palawan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (PALECO) and Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ORMECO) for their failure to provide quality service despite repeated complaints from member-consumers.
“We need to ensure that ECs are responsive and always on the lookout for the best interest of their consumers. In this case, we are in receipt of numerous complaints against the two cooperatives,” NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said.
“We are issuing these show cause orders against PALECO and ORMECO why they should not be sanctioned or be hailed to the proper courts for gross negligence or gross neglect of their duty to their member-consumers,” the NEA chief added.
According to NEA Deputy Administrator engineer Artis Nikki Tortola, other electric cooperatives that have violated the reliability standards set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will likewise be asked to explain why they should not be administratively sanctioned.
The Technical Services and Engineering Department of NEA recently conducted an investigation into the reliability performance of all the electric cooperatives, including PALECO, under the supervision of the state-owned corporation.
“In connection with the results of our fact-finding probe of the Palawan blackouts, a show cause order will be issued by NEA in relation to all ECs, including PALECO, who have violated the reliability standards, directing such ECs why they should not be administratively sanctioned for such violations,” Tortola said.
As to any violation committed by the ECs in connection with the Philippine Distribution Code (PDC) and Philippine Grid Code (PGC), NEA is leaving the responsibility to ERC to sanction these cooperatives.
Tortola explained that the agency only assists the ECs in its compliance with the PDC and PGC, which are both ERC issuances.
“However, by way of sanctions and penalties, or what may be the liability of PALECO, NEA merely assists the ECs in its compliance with the PDC and PGC through engineering assistance, funding, and management, and any violations committed in connection with any ERC issuances may be sanctioned by the appropriate body, which is the ERC,” he added.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, has earlier directed the NEA to investigate prolonged power outages in Puerto Princesa. NEA submitted the result of the investigation last Friday (August 11).