DOE exec backs NEA’s bid to expand mandate

By Lenie Lectura – June 21, 2017

from Business mirror

A Department of Energy (DOE) official is supporting the National Electrification Administration (NEA) in its plan to expand its authority over power distribution utilities (DUs).

Energy Undersecretary Benito Ranque has committed to help NEA’s lobby to Congress to extend the agency’s mandate by including private investors owned utilities (PIOUs) and private distribution utilities (PDUs).

“If you plan na ang NEA ay magiging authority at hindi administration lang, tutulungan ko kayo para lahat na service provider under na ng NEA. National Electrification Authority na ’yon, hindi na administration, susuportahan ko ’yon. Mag-lo-lobby ako sa Congress, sa Presidente, para isa na lang [If the move is to elevate NEA’s scope of mandate from administration to authority, then you can expect my help in the lobby efforts from Congress to the Palace],” Ranque said.

Ranque was the guest speaker at the Rural Electric Cooperatives Board of Directors Association (Recoboda) in the Philippines-National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers Inc. (NCECCO) Conference hosted by the Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc. (Beneco).

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong earlier expressed the agency’s readiness to the electric cooperatives’ (ECs) call to convert the NEA from an “administration” to an “authority”, which means all power DUs in the country, not just electric cooperatives, will be placed under its supervision.

“A National Electrification Authority, isang authority lang to supervise all DUs whether you are electric cooperative or you are private,” he said. “Maybe we can do that, especially [now] that we have a President who is pro-people, pro-electricity consumers. Maybe this is the time for us to lobby that we will have one agency supervising all DUs.”

The NEA supervises 121 electric cooperatives all over the country.