Daneco-CDA says rival co-op resorts to drama, deception

Jun. 17, 2014

TAGUM CITY—An official of Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative under the wing of Cooperative Development Authority (Daneco-CDA) slammed its rival group, Daneco-National Electrification Administration (Daneco-NEA) affiliate for resorting to “drama and deception” due to lack of financial transparency.

In a phone interview with Davao Today, Daneco-CDA General Manager Jerold Osorio on Friday noted that Daneco-NEA “until now has not published an audited financial statement. Their claim that they have difficulty in paying for their power bills to PSALM (Power Sector Assets and Liability Management Corp.) is nothing but pure drama and a deception in the highest form.”

Osorio claimed that Daneco-NEA has a total collection of more than P2 billion based on the financial report presented to Secretary Jericho Petilla during a Department of Energy led conference last August 2013 in Davao City.

“Daneco-NEA has paid the power suppliers 1.7 billion pesos or roughly 85% only of two billion pesos. So why can’t Daneco-NEA pay its debt in full amount then?” Osorio said.

Osorio said that Daneco-NEA even published a paid advertisement in a local newspaper in Tagum informing the public of their billion remittances as of first week of June.

Daneco-CDA Board Chairman Albert Omega, on the other hand, described the move of Daneco-NEA as a “bluff”.

“(T)his is nothing but a bluff. If we will not compromise our ownership by paying our bills to them we will be disconnected by PSALM,” Omega told DavaoToday.

Omega  has urged political leaders to intervene, saying that “(W)e expect our political leaders to be on the side of their constituents; by virtue of the registration of DANECO with CDA as provided for in RA 9136 and RA 9520, its members-consumers  are the legitimate owners of DANECO.”

Omega said “For them to be neutral on this issue is a manifestation of lack of concern whether poverty will be eradicated in their respective area and in the country in general, or not.  As envisioned in Sec.15, Article XII of the Philippine Constitution, cooperatives are recognized as vehicles for social justice and economic growth (that is inclusive).”

“I think the suggestion to call the attention of President Aquino to intervene in solving the problems of DANECO is worth supporting,” Omega added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DOE) and NEA issued a joint statement Friday, urging the member-consumers of DANECO “to pay their power bills to the legitimate DANECO-NEA Management in order to avert a possible disconnection.”

NEA Administrator Edita S. Bueno, in a statement said, “this kind of system and situation cannot continue,  otherwise, part of Davao del Norte Province and Compostela Valley will be in darkness sooner than later. To prevent this, I strongly urge DANECO member-consumers to pay their bills to the legitimate coop management, the one recognized by the NEA and the Energy Regulatory Commission. This is the group led by Project Supervisor Godofredo Guya and DANECO  Officer-In-Charge Benedicto Ongking.”

“Both groups are collecting bills payment from consumers but DANECO-CDA does not remit its collections to the DANECO coffers. Since the period of the conflict between these groups, DANECO-CDA has not remitted its obligations for consolidation of payments,” the statement said.

The statement further said: “It is DANECO-NEA which pays its obligations, but is unable to pay the full amount due to the situation.”

NEA said Daneco has an outstanding power accounts obligations to PSALM amounting to Php275.244 million.

Presently, there are 160,601 member-consumers under the franchise areas of Daneco in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces.

“We do hope for a speedy resolution on this issue and let the truth come out,” Omega said.  (davaotoday.com)

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