By Elmer James Bandol
MASBATE CITY (BicolToday.com/14 Dec. 2011) – The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has declared that the Masbate Electric Cooperative (MASELCO), in this island province, is facing financial problems attributed to mismanagement which widened to labor problems.
Presently run by controversial General Manager Eduardo N. Margallo, MASELCO has already incurred accumulated financial losses of more than P314 million despite being categorized as large coop category D, according to Veronica B. Cruz, NEA director for Electric Cooperative Development.
Copy of Audit Report by Cruz obtained by this writer showed that under the watch of Margallo, “procurement procedures” were not strictly followed in transactions like purchase of seven units of truck double cab from JERA General Constructions totaling to more than P5 million and without public bidding or solicitation of quotations from dealers of transportation equipment.
The same audit mentioned that MASELCO has entered into contract with MN Electronic Industrial Supply & Services for the site development, repair and installation of double circuit lines for more than P57 million and the management forcibly “commissioned” three units constructed with 5MVA substation even the 68 KV line is still to be provided by the National Power Corporation (NPC).
“The management failed to conduct extensive study and evaluation regarding the effectiveness and financial impact of the projects constructed even without the right of way clearance resulting to delay in completion and expected benefits not attained as programmed”, Cruz mentioned in her report.
Other anomalies mentioned in the audit is the purchase of four units multi-cab vehicle totaling P671,000.00 without canvass and quotations but cash advance payments were made by the “Technical Manager” and discrepancy shortage of more than P17 million in consumers account receivables.
Aside from “illegal” transactions, the quarter allowance of Margallo was increased by P500 in July 2010 and P2,000 in April 2011 or from P5,500 to P7,500, report said. Margallo, who claimed he is staying at the rectory of St. Anthony Cathedral, has continuously received P12,500 monthly allowance including accommodation expenses.
MASELCO Manager tagged as the “Kissing GM”, has been wielding power and influence, aside from using the cooperative’s resources, just to quell sexual harassment and acts of lasciviousness cases filed by woman-employees.
Still to be resolved in the hands of NEA Administrative Committee, the “offensive acts” against Margallo filed by Grace Cueva-Antipolo, who opted to resign as MASELCO employee but was not accepted by the manager who instead gave her P1,000 cash and told to check in at a hotel for he will come to her room after office hours.
In retaliation against sexual harassment cases filed against him by women-employees, Margallo has filed libel cases at the prosecutor’s office to harass complaining employees, however, were dismissed for lack of merit and the declaration of aggrieved complainants was a “privilege communication”.
Chona Manlangit Atrasado, MASELCO employees union leader said she refused an offer by Margallo for a higher position at the power coop and remained as lowly employee as she will never leave the organization fighting for their rights and as an organization.
NEA also found out that the management of MASELCO has failed to distribute right manpower to positions in the service centers neglecting functions and solutions to problems like recording of complaints from consumers and the action taken.
Random check by NEA to 13 employees in their 201 files and office memo were out and could not be ascertained as department heads are also late in reporting to their respective offices which resulted to late dispatched of personnel assigned in the field. (BicolToday.com)