By Lenie Lectura – May 6, 2019
from Business Mirror
THE Department of Energy (DOE) has created a task force to conduct the system and performance audit of Masbate Electric Cooperative Inc. (Maselco).
Maselco is in the list of “underperforming, financially and technically distressed electric cooperatives” submitted by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to the DOE on December 18, 2018.
“There is an urgent need to audit the system and performance of Maselco in order to assess the root cause of the problem and to ensure the quality, reliability, security and affordability of the supply of electric power within its franchise area and in line with the total electrification program of this administration,” Department Order 2019-04-11 stated.
The performance assessment shall cover Maselco’s generation and transmission facilities, distribution system, power-supply contracts and operational matters.
After the audit, the task force will submit to Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi a recommendation on the appropriate course of action.
“This order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in full force until sooner modified or revoked,” the order, signed by Cusi, stated.
Last February, NEA appointed a new project supervisor and acting general manager (PS/AGM) of Maselco.
Romeo Acuesta replaced former PS/AGM Arnel Aben, who passed away on February 13, 2019, at the age of 55 from a heart attack while on his way to Maselco.
In 2017, NEA took over the operations and management of Maselco, following the latter’s failure to settle its overdue obligations to the DMCI Masbate Power Corp.
Since then, the co-op has slowly progressed, particularly in addressing its system loss and collection efficiency. It has reduced its average system loss from 15.39 percent in 2017 to 12.57 percent in 2018, while its collection efficiency improved from 89.48 percent in 2017 to 93.86 percent in 2018.
For this year, Maselco is hoping to improve further its collection efficiency to 95 percent and average system loss to 11 percent.
Maselco is one of the distributors of electricity in the province of Masbate. It has reached 76,428 households in its entire coverage area out of its 148,530 total potential consumer connections as of December 2018. It is classified as an extra-large electric cooperative and rated D by the NEA based on its 2017 EC Overall Performance Assessment.