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NEA-EC-MCO Consultative Conference ends; Tagum Declaration adopted

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TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte—The National Electrification Administration (NEA), representatives of the electric cooperatives (EC), and leaders of power consumer alliances nationwide pledged on Friday (April 28) to keep promoting sustainable development in the rural areas through countryside energization.
The NEA along with the respective delegates of 121 ECs under its watch and their associate members, consumers and owners (MCO) expressed this commitment by collectively signing the Tagum Declaration upon the conclusion of the NEA-EC-MCO consultative conference this year.
Proposals were made on how best to handle the prevailing concerns of the ECs and MCOs during the two-day conference notably in the areas of auditing, securing power supply contracts, employee salary upgrades and trainings, among others.
NEA Chief Edgardo Masongsong vowed to look into these issues and provided his own inputs at the same time. The administrator urged the ECs to refer to his presentation last Thursday where he detailed his ideas on how they can all respond to present challenges through MCO empowerment.
Masongsong specifically called for both the ECs and their member consumers to work together under a more collaborative environment.
“You cannot represent yourself to the GM (general manager) and President of the Board and dictate them what you want. I would like to make that very, very clear,” he told the MCOs.
The administrator said power cooperative members can only exercise their ownership during the Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of the ECs. Subsequently, as customers, they have the responsibility to pay for the services they demand.
“As I’ve said, it would be best done if the representatives of the MSEAC (Multisectoral Electrification Advisory Council) will be elected through an assembly of the sectors—farmers, fishermen, women, etc.—so this really will entail organizing and this cannot be done overnight,” Masongsong said.
In terms of dealing with the setbacks spurred by natural calamities, Masongsong said the agency is now in the process of creating an NEA-EC Comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
He also encouraged the participants to get involved in the ongoing legislative review of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA).
“We can use as much capacity up to 50 percent of power generation. I don’t know if that will be amended especially there is a move now in both Houses of Congress to overhaul EPIRA. And if this happens, we should actively participate in this undertaking,” Masongsong said.
By signing the Tagum Declaration, the concerned parties jointly agreed to continue formulating action plans that will serve as framework for addressing these matters consistent with the seven-point agenda of the NEA and the programs of President Rodrigo Duterte and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi for the industry.
Signing the document on behalf of their respective groups are the presidents and representatives of the following associations:
  • Akhmad Mamalinta - Rural Electric Cooperative Board of Directors Association, Inc. (RECOBODA);
  • Reynaldo Lazo - Association of Board of Directors of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (ABDEC);
  • Sergio Dagooc - National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives (NAGMEC);
  • Edna Diango - Philippine Association of Institutional Managers (PHILAIM);
  • Edwin Zaldivar - Philippine Association of Technical Managers of Electric Cooperatives (PHILATMEC);
  • Eugenio Velasco - Finance Association Managers of the Philippines (FIMAP);
  • Remedios Laragan - Philippine Association of Electric Cooperative Internal Auditors (PHILAECIA);
  • Leodegardo Pruna - MSEAC Federation Chairman of Tarlac I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (TARELCO I); and
  • Ronald Lapinig - Area Manager of Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZANECO).

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