How fast can NEA get the powers to take over ABRECO?
by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News
MANILA, Philippines – Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla proposed the conversion of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) into a governing body with powers to review and actually intervene in the management and financial affairs of electric cooperatives.
Petilla raised the suggestion after the Abra Electric Cooperative (ABRECO) faces another disconnection by February 7 or 8 if it is not able to pay P16 million in overdue payment to its supplier and National Grid Corp.
Another P10 million is needed a few days from Feb. 7 and yet another P16 million in overdue amount will have to be raised by ABRECO. On top of this monthly obligations, ABRECO also owes PSALM P355 million in previous loans.
According to Petilla, even the cooperative’s supplier Aboitiz Power is now giving up due to defaults in payment.
Petilla still hopes the coop gets a weekly contract so as not to plunge Abra in darkness. But he said if the people of Abra will allow the DOE, he would want a new management team to take over ABRECO.
ABRECO is not under the NEA but the CDA or the Cooperative Development Authority.
Update: NEA told: Run co-op to ease Abra power woe
BAGUIO CITY—Abra’s consumers have urged their electric cooperative to relinquish its membership with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and submit once again to the supervision of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to solve the province’s power crisis.
At least 3,000 people petitioned NEA to take back the Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco), saying the agency is better equipped to solve a management problem that led to the pullout of Abra’s only power supplier on Jan. 10, according to Mayor Ryan Luna of Bangued town.
Abra suffered a blackout on Jan. 24 when the Aboitiz Power Renewables Inc. (Apri) disconnected Abreco from its system. The province’s electricity resumed only after last ditch negotiations with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
Lawyer Franco Bawang, CDA Cordillera director, said Abreco’s problems are from its management team. “We have no hand in Abreco,” he said.
The local governments of Bangued, Lagayan, Dolores, Pidigan, San Juan and Langidan joined households and civic leaders in the petition, Luna said.
“CDA has not done anything [to help fix Abreco’s debt problems that led to Apri’s withdrawal],” he told the Inquirer by phone.
But CDA said it was not empowered to meddle with the management of a cooperative. Desiree Caluza, Inquirer Northern Luzon