In Northern Samar

CATARMAN, Northern Samar- The Northern Samar Electric Cooperative (Norsamelco) has lowered its electricity rates from P12.27 per kilowatt hour (kwh) to P9.38/kwh effective February this year.
The downward adjustment means a decrease of P578 in the bill of a typical household consuming 200 kwh per month. On households and commercial establishments consuming 500 kwh, a reduction of P1,445 is expected.
Engr. Hector Tabilisma, project supervisor and acting general manager of Norsamelco, attributed the decrease of P2.85/kWh to the commencement of a long-term power supply contract procured through Competitive Selection Process (CSP) conducted in 2015 including the 10 electric cooperatives in the region.
Tabilisma hopes that this development will attract more investors to do business in the province.
“The rate reduction will greatly enhance the investment climate in Northern Samar. At present, power rate in Manila is higher compare to our power rate,” he said.
Tabilisma expressed his utmost thanks to the leadership of the provincial government of Northern Samar for their support in making Norsamelco a stable electric cooperative.
“Governor Jun Ong has been very supportive, as well as Vice Governor Gary Lavin and all the board members. All our initiatives are being supported by them. They even passed a resolution regarding our restructuring plan,” he said.
From being an ailing D-rated cooperative, Norsamelco has greatly improved since 2013 and is now rated A by the National Electrification Administration (NEA), two notches away from the highest rating of AAA.
It can be recalled that the debt of the cooperative to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) rose to more than P641 million in 2013, prompting NEA to intervene and took over the management and operations.
NEA installed Engr. Hector Tabilisma as acting general manager in July 2013 while allegations of mismanagement and corruption led to the resignation of its board of directors in August of that year.
Gov. Ong is glad of the improvement and stability that Norsamelco now enjoys, and hopes that somehow it will help improve the quality of lives of the people of the province.
“We are so proud of the gains of Norsamelco. At the start of my term as governor, I was one of many who opposed of having a board of directors, and turning over the management of the cooperative to them. I commend the leadership of Engr. Tabilisma for having resuscitated the cooperative from near dissolution,” the governor said.
Recently, the proposal to elect a new set of board of directors was again raised but Gov. Ong expressed his opposition on this.
“I believe that rushing to elect a new set of board of directors at this crucial time where Norsamelco is just rebuilding is counterproductive and something the cooperative can do without for now. In fact, this sentiment has also been expressed by our Sangguniang Panlalawigan through a resolution. The many businesses coming to invest in the province is a good indication of the current strong leadership at the cooperative’s helm,” Gov. Ong stressed.

Tabilisma also expressed gratitude to Representatives Edwin Ong and Raul Daza for personally lobbying to PSALM to approve the restructured loan payment plan of the cooperative which led to the signing of a restructuring agreement last November 26, 2018.

He added that the long-term power supply contract with GN Power Dinginin Ltd. Company which started this year will ensure a secure and dependable electric power supply for the province.
“Our investors can be assured of a stable power supply in the province at a low power rate,” Tabilisma said. (JENNIFER SUMAGANG ALLEGADO)