DAVAO del Norte Gov. Edwin I. Jubahib has criticized the North Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco) for sitting on the call of local chief executives for the Davao Light and Power Co. (Davao Light) to service the remaining areas in the province.
Last week, Jubahib in an online interview, said the Nordeco management sat on the petition for the transfer of the remaining areas of the province to Davao Light which was signed by the top executives of the province, including himself.
“They (management of the cooperative) were the ones who did not consider the call of the people (of the province),” the governor said, as he confirmed that the provincial government has initiated the information drive for the consumers to understand the issue.
Among those who signed the petition dated December 18, 2020, were mayors Allan Rellon of Tagum City, Al David Uy of the Island Garden City of Samal, Maria Theresa Timbol of Kapalong, Jorjan Federiso of New Corella, Arnel Sitoy of San Isidro and Jonnie Libayao of Talaingod. Only Mayor Eufracio Dayaday Jr. of Asuncion did not sign the petition.
The remaining areas in the province have been served by Davao Light since 1976. Those being served by the company include Panabo City, Sto. Tomas, Carmen, Braulio Dujali and parts of Kapalong.
Earlier, Mario Angelo Sotto, manager of Nordeco, said that behind the call for the transfer were politicians because of their personal interests.
The petition called the cooperative to cede its control to Davao Light over the remaining areas in the province that it is servicing, for it “not to ask unconscionable amount whenever there is a need for Davao Light and Power Co. to procure (its) properties and equipment,” and for it to comply with the petition “at the earliest possible time in order to avoid further burden to consumers.”
Uy earlier questioned the cooperative over what he claimed as its P200 million loan in improving the services in his city. Uy, who said he would officially write a letter to the cooperative, was confused over the amount that the cooperative was supposedly collecting as capital expenditure to pay the loan. Based on his assumption, what has been collected was very large compared with the loan, while he has yet to see the improvements in the service delivery.
The petition said the signatories were supporting the “growing clamor of the consumer-members…and civil society organizations to transfer its operation in favor of Davao Light as electricity supplier for municipalities and cities of Davao del Norte within the franchise area of Nordeco.”
“Nordeco is not transparent to its customers for the reason that there is no retail supply contract entered into by and between Nordeco and its customers,” it added. It cited the dissatisfaction of consumers in the services of the cooperative as “its performance is below par and could not meet the standard minimum required by law.”
It pointed out that by the first quarter of 2019, the cooperative was still categorized as Yellow-2, “which means it does not comply with the four or more standards set by the National Electrification Administration and it is one category shy of being declared as ailing cooperative.”
However, Sotto earlier said that the new management of the cooperative, which President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed to run it in 2017, was able to improve its services.
Another factor for the petition was the systems loss of the two entities as, based on 2019 data, the cooperative incurred a systems loss of 17.28% against 7.32% of the company. Based on the law, consumers absorb the systems loss beyond the imposed cap which is 12% for cooperatives and 5% for private companies.
On power rate, the petition also pointed out that the cooperative’s power rate to consumers was higher at P10.27 per kilowatt-hour compared with that of Davao Light at P8.81 per kilowatt-hour.
It added that the private distribution utility “outperformed” the cooperative in terms of customer services, among them in the areas of meter installation and emergency responses.
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