By Artemio Dumlao
BANGUED, Abra – Faced with yet another impending black-out at the start the year, the Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco) vows to weather the dirty politics in the northern province.
Abreco “is asserting our perseverance in weathering all (their) obstructionist posturing and doomsday prophecies,” said Abreco General Manager Loreto Seares, Jr., who is at the middle of the “power struggle” spawned by outside forces in the province including political figures wanting control of the cooperative
“We refuse to be sidetracked from our vision and mission as a public utility organization exclusively mandated by law to deliver electric power supply to the whole Abra franchise area,” Seares said 2013 “ushers in a new beginning of the cooperative”.
A supposed black-out on unpaid obligations to the power supplier Aboitiz Renewable Power Inc. (APRI) on Dec. 27 was averted after Abreco paid its monthly dues of P4.9 million.
“We inform our member-consumers that our electric cooperative is capable of paying its monthly electricity fees. We have successfully done that. We have no debts, whatsoever, at APRI, as of this date.”
Seares said, “brownouts are not a horrifying specter that would shake the foundation of our cooperative.”
Abreco is braving yet another threat of power cut off on Jan. 3, this time by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and next by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., both reportedly being pressured by local Abra political leaders wanting to use the cooperative’s financial woes to oust the Abreco management.
“We do not subscribe to such low-handed tactics. The common good is paramount,” Seares said.
“Electric power is a basic commodity which cannot be bastardized as a bargaining chip in a political game. The general welfare clause takes precedence over all our thrusts, programs, and plans in Abreco.”
Abreco services at least 47,000 Abrenios in all 27 towns of Abra.
As long as we are free from political intervention and adventurism, Abreco keeps its lights on, Seares added.
“If our power supplier has been unwittingly dragged into this as the alleged source of the misrepresented facts, we have to inform them so within the context of our business intercourse.”
Abra Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin has denied charges “of his dipping fingers into the affairs of Abreco” and reportedly wants his own “anointed one” to replace Seares ahead of the 2013 midterm polls.