The National Electrification Administration (NEA) expressed dismay over recent attempts by some groups to derail the ongoing rehabilitation of Abra Electric Cooperative (ABRECO), which is currently under the management of Task Force Duterte Abra Power.
Deputy Administrator Goldelio Rivera called it a ‘demolition job’ orchestrated by the same people who capitalized on the previous inefficiencies of the Bangued-based distribution utility that pushed it to the edge of bankruptcy.
“This demolition job may have been perpetrated by people who committed unbridled irregularities running to hundreds of millions in unaccounted funds, and those who benefitted. They are trying to muddle the issues,” Rivera, the task force chairman, said.
“We are dismayed that instead of lending a hand to run after the culprits, they try to sabotage our efforts to turnaround ABRECO,” the NEA official added. He was referring to the online misinformation being spread against the operations of Task Force Duterte Abra Power.
We are dismayed that instead of lending a hand to run after the culprits, they try to sabotage our efforts to turnaround Abreco.
Rivera cried foul over malicious claims that have surfaced on social media with respect to the involvement of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the day-to-day affairs of NEA-appointed personnel who were tasked to oversee ABRECO.
“During the previous management, there was total breakdown of internal control. There were unabated irregular disbursements. We just took over and they are making a lot of noise. For many years, ABRECO was run like piggy bank and nobody complained,” he explained.
“We need the PNP because our men are under threat,” Rivera underscored. The NEA gained control of the management and operations of ABRECO last February following intense cries for help from its member-consumer-owners.
We need the PNP because our men are under threat.
NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong ordered the takeover to prevent a massive blackout in Abra after the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) issued notices of default and suspension against the co-op due to its repeated failure to pay its more than P200-million dues.
Barely two months since the agency took charge of its operations, however, ABRECO has been steadily cutting back its outstanding liabilities from other energy companies, reversing its own downward spiral in the process.
In a recent report to the NEA, ABRECO acting general manager Charito Mabitazan said the coop has already paid on March 28 its PhP 20.336 million bill for February 2018 to the PEMC. An additional PhP 1,000,000 payment has been made as partial compensation for its arrears.
Mabitazan further disclosed that the distribution utility’s PhP 7.319-million power bill to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), also for the month of February, has been paid in full. The ABRECO employees likewise received their salaries for the second half of March.
Aside from PEMC, NEA data showed ABRECO has unpaid obligations with other power suppliers and service providers including NGCP (PhP 8.626-M), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PhP 421.444-M), and Aboitiz Power Corp. – AP Renewables, Inc. (PhP 9.856-M).