Despite withdrawal of the order
TACLOBAN CITY- Officials and personnel of the Leyte II Electric Cooperative (Leyeco II), the power provider of this city and the nearby towns of Palo and Babatngon, joined on Thursday (Feb.14) a nationwide protest on the plan of the Department of Energy to revoke the franchises of 17 electric cooperatives.
As a sign of their dramatic protest, they all wore in black shirts, calling it as a black Valentine celebration.
Leyeco II general manager Fernan Paul Tan said that the activity was an act of support to condemn the move of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi who earlier recommended to revoke the franchises of 17 electric cooperatives which he claimed to be under performing.
Cusi, however, retracted his recommendation before the House of Representatives as he instead asked the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to review on the compliance of these power cooperatives to the service requirements of their franchises.
Still, what Sec. Cusi has done has caused damaged and had a chilling effect among the country’s 112 electric cooperatives, Tan said.
The Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives, the umbrella organization of the country’s electric cooperatives, is leading in opposing to revocation of the franchises which they fear could lead to the privatization of these affected electric cooperatives.
It was revealed that in the succeeding Fridays the management and employees will continue to wear black shirt to show their continuing protest.
The 17 cooperatives recommended by Cusi to have their franchises be revoked were Abra Electric cooperative (Abreco), Pampanga Electric Cooperative (Pelco III), Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Omeco) Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Ormeco), Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco), Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Casureco III,) Albay Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Aleco), Masbate Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Maselco), First Catanduanes Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (Ficelco), Ticao Island Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (Tiselco); Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Zamelco); Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Daneco); Basilan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Baselco); Sulu Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Suleco); Tawi-Tawi Electric Cooperative Inc. (Tawelco; Maguindanao Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Magelco) and Lanao del Sur (Lasureco).
(LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA)