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POWER COOP EXECS VOW TO ASSIST AILING DISTRIBUTION UTILITIES – MASONGSONG

An organization of board of directors of electric cooperatives (ECs) has adopted a resolution creating a comprehensive program that will provide all kinds of immediate assistance to underperforming power distribution utilities.

This is among a handful of proposals introduced during the First EC Board of Directors Summit organized by the Philippine Association of Board of Directors of Rural Electric Cooperatives (PABREC) to help save some ailing coops from the brink of economic unviability.

Over 600 participants from 99 ECs attended the meeting, which was held from February 16 to 17 at the La Carmela de Boracay convention center, to address different issues affecting power coop directors in the rural electrification sector.

With the theme “A United Board of Directors for Stronger Electric Cooperatives,” the gathering aimed to consolidate the various organizations of EC Board of Directors nationwide to effectively resolve the most pressing challenges facing the industry.

PABREC is composed of Rural Electric Cooperative Board of Directors Association, Inc. (RECOBODA), Association of Board of Directors of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (ABDEC), Directors 8, and Western Visayas Board of Directors Association (WEVBODA).

The resolution adopted by PABREC to create a program for ailing ECs was proposed by Felix Vergara, Jr., president of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AMRECO).

“We should have a program helping those ailing cooperatives. We should have a concerted effort in terms of helping our ailing ECs in resolving their problems,” said Vergara, who is also the board president of the First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FIBECO).

Other resolutions endorsed during the assembly include urging the 17th Congress to pass a bill expanding the supervisory powers of the National Electrification Administration (NEA); and another in support of the establishment of an EC Member-Consumer-Owners (MCO) Center at Clark Green City in Tarlac.

“You are in the electric cooperative to promote and protect the rights and interest of your electricity consumers. But you cannot do that individually. To be relevant, you have to bond yourselves into one strong movement,” Masongsong said.

The NEA chief urged them to solidify their ranks to help the Duterte administration realize its economic roadmap, particularly in terms of sustaining development in the rural areas, as envisioned in the AmBisyon Natin 2040.

Other resource persons who also spoke during the two-day summit were Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Commissioner Josefina Patricia Asirit representing ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera, NEA-EC Training Institute (NETI) Director Nora Rivera, NEA Institutional Development Department Manager Nollie Alamillo, and MCO Specialist Edmundo Pacamalan, Jr.

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