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NEA holds performance audit of 17 electric co-ops

/ 05:12 AM February 08, 2019

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) yesterday lauded the Department of Energy’s (DOE) withdrawal of its recommendation to revoke the franchise of 17 electric cooperatives, saying the utilities were undergoing regular performance assessments.

“Consistent with its mandate under Republic Act 10531 [the  NEA law], the agency will, moving forward, conduct a thorough performance review of the (electric cooperatives) involved—a task regularly performed by the NEA based on set parameters or key performance standards—and submit the results of the same to the DOE and the House of Representatives for their appreciation and evaluation,” the agency said in a statement.

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NEA supervises 121 electric cooperatives nationwide and conducts yearly assessments based on key performance standards, which cover compliance on financial, institutional, technical and reportorial requirements.

In a memorandum dated Jan. 11 and addressed to House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Cusi recommended the cancellation of franchises of the 17 cooperatives, which he said were “underperforming, financially and technically distressed” based on NEA’s assessment.

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The 17 utilities were the cooperatives of Abra (Abreco), Pampanga 3 (Pelco III), Occidential Mindoro (Omeco), Oriental Mindoro (Ormeco), Palawan (Paleco), Camarines Sur 3 (Casureco III), Albay (Aleco), Masbate (Maselco), First Catanduanes (Ficelco), Ticao Island (Tiselco), Zamboanga City (Zamcelco), Davao del Norte (Daneco), Basilan (Baselco), Sulu (Suleco), Tawi-Tawi (Tawelco), Maguidanao (Magelco) and Lanao del Sur (Lasureco).

When the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (Philreca) last week raised a howl over the memo, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said Cusi had withdrawn his recommendation on Jan. 29.

Fuentebella said the DOE needed to further evaluate and assess the present status and performance of the 17 cooperatives.

Philreca said such flip-flopping meant that the recommendation was done in haste and in the absence of due diligence on the part of the DOE, and without prior consultation with the concerned electric cooperatives.

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TAGS: Department of Energy’s (DOE), electric cooperatives, National Electrification Administration (NEA)
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