NEA issues show-cause orders vs Paleco, Ormeco

By Lenie Lectura – August 16, 2017

from Business Mirror

THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) on Wednesday said it will issue show-cause orders against the Palawan Electric Cooperative Inc. (Paleco) and Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ormeco) for their failure to provide quality service despite repeated complaints from member-consumers.

“We are issuing these show-cause orders against Paleco and Ormeco and why they should not be sanctioned or be hailed to the proper courts for gross negligence or gross neglect of their duty to their member-consumers,” NEA  Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said.

“We need to ensure that ECs [electric cooperatives] are responsive and always on the lookout for the best interest of their consumers. In this case, we are in receipt of numerous complaints against the two cooperatives,” the NEA chief said.

NEA Deputy Administrator Artis Nikki Tortola said other ECs that have violated the reliability standards set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will, likewise, be asked to explain why they should not be administratively sanctioned.

The Technical Services and Engineering Department of the NEA recently conducted an investigation into reliability performance of all the electric cooperatives, including Paleco, under the supervision of the state-owned corporation.

“In connection with the results of our fact-finding probe of the Palawan blackouts, a show-cause order will be issued by the NEA in relation to all ECs, including Paleco, who have violated the reliability standards, directing such ECs why they should not be administratively sanctioned for such violations,” Tortola said.

As to any violation committed by the ECs in connection with the Philippine Distribution Code (PDC) and Philippine Grid Code (PGC), the NEA is leaving the responsibility to the ERC to sanction these cooperatives. Tortola explained the agency only assists the ECs in its compliance with the PDC and PGC, which are both ERC issuances.

“However, by way of sanctions and penalties, or what may be the liability of Paleco, the NEA merely assists the ECs in its compliance through engineering assistance, funding and management and any violations committed in connection with any ERC issuances may be sanctioned by the appropriate body, which is the ERC,” he said. “Furthermore, the NEA will look into Paleco’s management lapses, which resulted to its violation of the standards.”

Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, earlier directed the NEA to investigate prolonged power outages in Puerto Princesa.