DOE Issues

Summary of the post is as follows:  

We cannot help but notice the continuing tug of war  between Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso G.Cusi and the leaders of the Philippine Electric Cooperative Association or Philreca over the chronic non-performance of many electric coops and what should be the long term solution.

Philreca’s membership and officials apparently got riled by a letter written by Secretary Cusi last January 9 to House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo endorsing the cancellation of the distribution utility franchises of 17 seriously distressed electric coops. Philreca reacted like a threatened lion.

Prematurity realized and recommendation reassessed
Nonetheless, within a few days Secretary Cusi evidently realized the prematurity of the letter and withdrew the recommendation for updating of data and reassessment as announced by DOE Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella.

Philreca’s Curiousreaction
Philreca curiously seems would have none of it despite the hand of peace and dialogue clearly extended by the Secretary. They fired off a memo in defiance asking the EC’s to submit their performance reports only to the NEA….and let the DOE get it from them. A regretful and unnecessary disrespect. They apparently are treating Secretary Cusi’s letter as an irreversible shot across their bow,  a line in the sand over which they are willing to do battle. Seems perplexing and pointless.

Focus must be on the EC problems and how to solve them for the long term
Philreca as a national association of electric cooperatives we would think is very familiar with the long running problems not only of the 17 electric coops but for most coops in the country and should welcome this opportunity to look into their deep causes and prospects for a resolution.

The EC’s have this wonderful culture of “cooperativism” or “bayanihan” in coming to each other’s aid whenever anyone is damaged by natural calamities. That kind of “cooperativism” should have worked wonderfully in seeking solutions for failing electric cooperatives and should have been harnessed by Philreca in creating long term solutions for their members.

Secretary Cusi’s  EC initiative may have started with an initial wrong turn but is now in the right course.  In this issue,Philreca should put higher priority for the best interest of their members and not for the sake of the association as a political party.  Pasensya na mga pare ko, an uncooperative stance seems out of character for a sector that is founded on cooperation.

This website had written about the role of the various government institutions in the weakening and failures of the electric coops. And to be honest, we can right the EC’s if we right the way the government institutions deal with them.  When government officials talk about privatizing electric coops, they are actually abdicating their obligations as government officials to perform their own roles for the well being of Electric Coops.

And while we are on the subject of dialogue, let us include all the Electric Cooperatives groupings that have sprouted to address their common goals. Let it be a solution of national consensus. Let us hope NEA Administrator Edgar Masongsong weighs in on this momentous occasion and be an agent of unity and dialogue.

We wish Secretary Cusi, Philreca and its leadership, and all the other electric cooperatives and their associations well in this opportune undertaking. Your members are counting on you.

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