Rural co-ops criticize Cusi over revocation of franchises

By Alena Mae S. Flores – February 01, 2019 at 08:35 pm

Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. on Friday slammed Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi for initially recommending the revocation of franchise of 17 electric cooperatives around the country.

Phireca, composed of the country’s 121 electric cooperatives, condemned Cusi’s recommendation in a statement, calling it a “treacherous act.”

Cusi did not issue a statement but Energy Undersecretary Felix said the recommendation had since been withdrawn.

“The earlier recommendation to Congress has been withdrawn two days ago. The DoE sees the need to further assess the present status and performance of the 17 electric cooperatives,” he said.

Cusi recommended to the House of Representatives through Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the revocation of franchise of 17 electric cooperatives on January 11.

Philreca said Cusi “reasoned out” the 17 electric cooperatives were “underperforming and financially and technically distressed.”

“Such recommendation was made without even giving due process to the electric cooperatives. The least that Secretary Cusi could have done, as the father of the government’s energy family, is to have a consultation with the electric cooperatives and give them a chance to defend their side,” the group said.

The 17 electric cooperatives are Abra Electric Cooperative, Pampanga III Electric Cooperative, Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Palawan Electric Cooperative, Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative, Albay Electric Cooperative, Masbate Electric Cooperative, First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Ticao Island Electric Cooperative, Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Basilan Electric Cooperative, Sulu Elctric Cooperative, Tawi-Tawi Electric Cooperative, Maguindanao Electric Cooperative and Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative.