General Managers, Board of Directors and officers representing various electric cooperatives nationwide convened during the 37th PHILRECA Annual General Membership Assembly with the theme “Lighting Homes, Improving Lives and Enhancing Inclusive Growth and Progress” in SMX Convention Center, Davao City last August 3-4, 2016.

National and local dignitaries attended the opening ceremony. Among of which are Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi together with DOE Undersecretary Arwin Ardon, DOE Spokesperson Pete Ilagan and Davao City Councilor Hon. Diosdado Angelo A. Mahipus.
On behalf of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Hon. Mahipus extended the message of the Lady Mayor, which stressed more of the major development that rural electrification has contributed in the lives of Filipino living in the countryside.

“Rural electrification has definitely shaped the future that is awaiting in our countryside. It ensures intensified information, dissemination through the aim of technology and is of immense help to our youth who no longer have to deal with darkness in the pursuit of their learning.” Hon. Mahipus delivered.

Through the Lady Mayor’s message, Hon. Mahipus then addressed Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA) and its delegates saying, “I hope that PHILRECA will rise up to the challenge of bringing light to more communities so that our people can reach to their fullest potentials. I encourage all of you to continue your advocacies and assist the government in achieving its objective for its people.”

PHILRECA Board President and concurrently ZAMSURECO-I General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Jose Raul Saniel, delivered his message enclosing the theme of the annual gathering. He pointed out the role performed by electric cooperatives as partner of the government in nation building through the provision of electricity access and services in rural and urban areas.

“Access to electricity opens up windows of opportunities that can improve people’s welfare; fuels growth by enhancing capacity thus, builds possibilities for poverty reduction and better living standards of people.” Board President Saniel said.

He also emphasized the timeliness of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s 10-point agenda, which is to increase competitiveness and the ease of doing business in the conduct of PHILRECA’s annual event.

In reference to President Duterte’s first SONA, Board President Saniel cascaded Duterte’s challenge to private distribution utilities and electric cooperatives to exercise their corporate social responsibility (CSR) by making direct connection to relocation sites and depressed areas to help avoid squatter-like conditions in relocation sites.

Saniel, further encouraged all delegates to rise up to challenge by stressing a major point. “For PHILRECA and its member electric cooperatives to be able to effectively act in harmony with President Duterte’s directive and 10-point agenda, this gathering must take this opportunity to discuss and come up with a collective all-inclusive set of recommendations and action agenda through proposed legislations, policy/regulatory issuances and pursue collaborative agreements between and among concerned government agencies to overcome this problem.” Saniel said.

Meanwhile, Keynote speaker, DOE Cabinet Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi highlighted the direction of the Department of Energy under Philippine President Rodrigo Roa-Duterte’s term, which will be geared towards the protection of the Filipino consumers.

“We will therefore exhaust all efforts to ensure access to adequate, affordable and reliable electricity as a recognition of the primary importance of power in enhancing the quality of the lives of all Filipinos especially that those living in the far-flung areas of the country.” DOE Secretary said.

Secretary Cusi also informed DOE’s main project plan to connect major islands of the country to the main grid specifically to interconnect MIMAROPA via Caticlan to the grid for purposes of exchange of power.
Secretary Cusi reported that one of the areas that is being look at to reduce the cost of electricity is the possibility of using the Malampaya Fund, Cusi said that during the cabinet meeting with the President, he said

“I presented a plan of using the Malampaya funds to pay some stranded debts and costs so that we can lower the universal charge that we are passing on to the consumers.”

The Secretary however said that initiative requires procedural deliberation in the Congress yet showed persistency that he is still determined to pursue the agenda.
Secretary Cusi then ended his speech by challenging everyone to render concrete actions subsequent to the annual assembly in line with the theme “Lighting Homes, Improving Lives and Enhancing Inclusive Growth and Progress.
On the other hand, the conduct of the business meeting covers emerging topics in line with current trends and national issues. Pressing topics discussed were as follows: Proposed Electric Cooperatives Disaster Management Fund and Proposed ECs Buffer Stock Fund.

A motion was thereafter pushed from the body to pass a bill in order for the standard realization of the said initiatives.

During the second day of the convention, series of updates were presented to all delegates including NGCP Transmission Development Plans and Programs, ERC Regulatory Updates, Automated Metering Infrastructure and Solar Power projects.

The two-day event successfully ended with the awarding of major raffle and consolation prizes.

PHILRECA is a non-stock, non-profit national organization, which is comprised of 121 member electric cooperatives in the country. Together, its membership provided electricity service for more than 10.9 million consumer connections all throughout the Philippines.



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