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Energy exec backs plans to expand NEA's supervisory powers

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BAGUIO CITY—The proposal by an overwhelming number of electric cooperatives in the country to expand the supervisory powers of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to other electricity distribution utilities has received support from a high-ranking official of the Department of Energy (DOE).
Speaking at the gathering of Board of Directors (BODs) from various electric cooperatives on Monday, Energy Undersecretary Benito Ranque committed to help NEA lobby Congress to extend the agency's mandate by including private investors owned utilities (PIOUs) and private distribution utilities (PDUs).
"If you plan na ang NEA ay magiging authority at hindi administration lang, tutulungan ko kayo para lahat na service provider under na ng NEA. National Electrification Authority na 'yon, hindi na administration, susuportahan ko 'yon. Mag-lo-lobby ako sa Congress, sa presidente, para isa na lang," Ranque said.
The Energy official was the guest speaker at the Rural Electric Cooperatives Board of Directors Association (Recoboda) in the Philippines - National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) Conference hosted by the Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Beneco).
NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong earlier expressed the agency's readiness to the ECs' call to convert the NEA from an "administration" to an "authority," which means all power distribution utilities in the country, not just electric cooperatives, will be placed under its supervision.
"A National Electrification Authority, isang authority lang to supervise all DUs whether you are electric cooperative or you are private," he said. "Maybe we can do that especially (now) that we have a President who is pro-people, pro-electricity consumers. Maybe this is the time for us to lobby that we will have one agency supervising all DUs."
The NEA supervises 121 electric cooperatives all over the country.###