LEGAZPI CITY – Senator Francis Escudero has expressed his full support on the call of Albay Gov. Joey Salceda on National Electrification Administration (NEA) take over of Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO).
Escudero said, NEA’s take over of the management of the cash-strapped ALECO is in the best interest of the member-consumers.
The senator stressed that he will also make the proper representation with the Deaprtment of Energy (DOE) to effect this at the soonest possible time.
“I also propose a management committee designated by NEA that will pursue a very specific objective and doables. They should also be time bound, to avoid abuse by athourities like what happened with other takeovers carried out by National Power Corporation (NPC) in the past,” Escudero said.
Earlier, Salceda already stated that one solution was for government to take over management of ALECO, which he described as a “problem cooperative.”
He said NEA, which supervises the operations of electric cooperatives nationwide, should take over ALECO and institute reforms in the cooperative.
Albay’s 15 towns and three cities almost lost the supply of electricity yesterday (Feb. 1) for failure of the electric cooperative to pay last Jan. 31 at least P258 million of its debt of more than P1 billion in electric bills.
Salceda said ALECO owes the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) at least P1.2billion.
The governor also said ALECO owes P1.7 billion to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp. and P180 million to the NEA.
A multi-sectoral group in the province, convened by the the Catholic Church here, has also expressed alarm over the inefficient management of the local power cooperative.
“What the cooperative needs is complete reform,” said Fr. Ramoncito Segubience, executive director of the church’s Social Action Center in this city. (MALoterte)