TACLOBAN CITY- The country’s electric cooperatives are optimistic that their interests and security are now guaranteed with the elections of four congressmen who ran under the party-list system of which they provided full support during the May 13 elections .
This was disclosed by Allan Laniba, president of the General Managers Association in Eastern Visayas, saying that the energy sector in the country is being rocked with various issues that could affect their operations and even existence.
Laniba, who is the general manager of the Don Orestes Romualdez Electric Cooperative covering Leyte’s second and part of its first districts, said that with the election of four congressmen from their sector, at least the interests and welfare of the electric cooperatives could be protected.
Electric cooperatives in the country have banded together to support the bids of four party-list groups which each gaining one seat each at the House of Representatives.
These are the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC), represented by Sergio Dagooc; Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA), represented by Presley de Jesus);Rural Electric Consumers and Beneficiaries of Development and Advancement,Inc.(RECOBODO),represented by Godofredo Guya; and Ako Padayon Pilipino(AKO PADAYON),as represented by Adriano Ebcas.
Laniba said that the four congressmen will push for the realization of the issues that they have been fighting for the past years now before the House of Representatives.
Among these issues include the full implementation of the Sitio Energization Program of which no less than President Rodrigo Duterte would like to realize.
However, Laniba said, this could not be realized as the budget for energization of sitios that remain without power supply has been pruned down.
Laniba said that it is Congress that has the powpower to allocate the needed budget.
He said that leaving these sitios still without power supply will result to injustice.
“It’s so different if a sitio has no electricity,” he Laniba said.
The four congressmen will also push for the cancellation of 12 percent tax imposed by the government that covers from generation, transmission, and distribution.
Laniba stressed that once this 12 percent tax would be removed,’it will result to reduction of power rates.’
Also, he said, the efforts by some multi-national companies, controlled mostly by the country’s oligarchs, to buy and take over power cooperatives could be blocked.
“(They) will protect the electric cooperatives from being privatized which will result to a 12 percent margin of profit,” Laniba said.(JOEY A. GABIETA)