Zamboanga del Sur I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZAMSURECO-I), in an effort to save the whole operation from a complete abandonment, has directed an initial information dissemination campaign
that will drive away unwanted information about the coop luring people to believe false promises.
Seeing the unfavorable consequences on the idea of converting ZAMSURECO-1 to be under the supervision of CDA, the coop has initiated a program that will waken up the awareness and understanding of all member-consumers by providing them with the necessary information regarding on its negative impact.
The said activity was conducted in a half day forum per area offices held on 1-3 December 2011 at Area-III Function Hall, Poblacion, San Miguel; Area-II Heroes Hall, Central Office, Pagadian City; and Area-I Switch, Ramon Magsaysay, Zamboanga del Sur, consecutively.
It was well-participated and supported by the ZAMSURECO-I Management Staff, Area Managers and Department Managers headed by General Manager Jose Raul A. Saniel, and of course the valued members of Multi-Sectoral Electrification Advisory Council (MSEAC) which is one of the strong pillars of the Electric Cooperative.
Two prominent speakers of ZAMSURECO-1 in the person of General Manager Jose Raul A. Saniel assisted by EDPM/OIC-ISDM Azucena A. Lagura, explained very carefully the impact of the CDA Conversion to the Cooperative especially in running the whole operation which will greatly affect not only the people from the cooperative but as well as all the member-consumers and beneficiaries of the coop.
GM Saniel explained in detail that in response to NEA Memorandum No. 2012-001 regarding the conversion options of Electric Cooperatives (ECs) under Section 57 as mandated by Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2011 (EPIRA), the cooperative are given two choices either to register with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as stock corporation, or with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) as stock and profit-oriented electric cooperative, or to remain as non-stock, non-profit, service-oriented electric cooperative under the National Electrification Administration (NEA) which is still governed by Presidential Decree No. 269 as amended.
It was also clearly informed that 280 MSEAC members representing the 87,000 plus member-consumers of ZAMSURECO-I have signified their overwhelming steadfast support to ZAMSURECO-I by passing three (3) separate resolutions to remain as non-stock, non-profit, and service-oriented electric cooperative still under NEA’s supervision.
According to GM Saniel, the main reason why he is in contrary with the said conversion option was because of the fact that if EC will be converted into a stock and profit-oriented electric cooperative, studies shows that the power rate will surely rise up estimated as much as Php0.45 centavos per kilowatt hour as compared to an additional of Php0.05 centavos per kilowatt hour if we remain non-stock and non-profit coop, although not tax exempt but just minimal for the payment of real property tax to the local government unit.
Regarding on the issue of patronage refund which is one of the tempting technique of the other party, GM Saniel pointed out that members of non-stock Electric Cooperative are still entitled to patronage refund only provided that all of the remaining barangays, sitios and puroks, are completely energized. He added that under President Aquino’s Administration, the government has allocated funds of Php3 Billion per year intended for the energization of the remaining 40% unenergized sitios and puroks nationwide. Moreover, he informed that the 2,341 barangays powered by solar system are to be converted into the main grid of the EC to sustain reliability of electric service under the Barangay Line Enhancement Program (BLEP) of the Government. The said project is expected to be fully accomplished before the term of PNOY ends.
GM Saniel informed further that NEA is a quasi-judicial entity as compared to CDA. According to him, it has the power to take over ailing electric cooperatives due to mismanagement and authority to continue with the mandate of the Government to electrify the rural areas especially the far flung barangays. He strongly said that CDA has no lending capability in terms of financial assistance just in case electric cooperative is affected by natural calamities. According to track record, the electric cooperatives under NEA’s supervision are still surviving while those coops registered under CDA, almost one half of them are already declared bankrupt. As of the moment, out of 119 ECs there are about five (5) ECs converted into CDA which are now having trouble with their financial report considering that their financial operations are not working well that in fact patronage refund they have promised could hardly be provided to the members.