The Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. (Philreca) demanded that “someone from rural electric cooperatives” should replace Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi after calling for his immediate resignation last March 6.
“It would be easier if we work with leader who can understand the nature of the electric cooperatives. Here comes the secretary who does not even understand, who did not even come to attend the requested dialog from the ECs,” Philreca general manager Janene D. Colingan said during the supposed open dialogue between electric cooperatives (ECs) leaders and the Department of Energy secretary on March 19.
Nollie Namocatcat, Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (ANECO) board president, also explained that “if you put someone from the oligarchs who only thought of business income, it won’t work.”
The co-op accused Cusi of being allegedly “biased with preconceived negative notions against electric cooperatives preference to private for-profit corporations; abuse of power; lack of genuine knowledge regarding rural electrification and cooperativism, and failure to recognize the success and gains of rural electrification and development not just because of the government through the National Electrification Administration but most especially because of electric cooperatives commissioned and considered implementing arm of the government.”
According to the official statement of PHILRECA, Cusi has “repeatedly refused the help offered by some legislators to restore the budget cut of the National Electrification Administration (NEA), amounting to Php 635 million, which could ultimately help in achieving President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching order of total electrification by year 2022.”
“The government even DOE is not in the position to demand from us a hundred percent electrification without support from them. We strictly adhere to our mandate. We will fail to adhere if the government cannot provide the fund,” Namocatcat said.
Despite Cusi’s no-show during the first dialogue with the leaders of ECs, the Philreca is still open to schedule another one to settle the issue and hear his side.