THE PROVINCIAL board of Davao del Norte has supported the call to terminate the franchise of the North Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco), formerly Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) as electricity provider of six local government units ((LGUs) in the province.
On Monday, the board unanimously approved on final reading the resolution, which, according to its sponsor, Boardmember Franklin D. Gentiles, “will really arrive in Congress” so that the national legislators can resolve the issue.
“There was a request of the governor (Edwin Jubahib) to support the clamor of the six LGUs” for the termination of the franchise of Nordeco in the province, said Gentiles, also the chair of the committee on public works, infrastructure and public utilities.
Jubahib and the mayors of the six LGUs signed a petition calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to remove Nordeco as their electricity service provider and replace it with Davao Light and Power Co., the service provider of other parts of Davao del Norte – Panabo City, Sto. Tomas, Carmen and Braulio Dujali – since 1976.
On Dec. 18, 2020, Jubahib and the mayors of the six LGUs called on the national government to pave the way for the cooperative to leave the remaining areas under its franchise in the province as soon as possible so that these could be served by Davao light and “ not to ask unconscionable amount whenever there is a need for Davao Light and Power Co. to procure (its) properties and equipment.”
The only mayor who did not sign the petition was Eufracio Dayaday of Asuncion.
The petition said it was the result of the “growing clamor of the consumer-members…and civil society organizations to transfer its operation in favor of Davao Light as electricity supplier for
“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 as it claimed that the performance of the cooperative “is below par and could not meet the standard minimum required by law.”
Aside from Jubahib, among the most vocal in pushing for the call are Mayors Allan Rellon of Tagum City and Al David Uy of the Island Garden City of Samal as the three have claimed that the cooperative was inefficient in the delivery of its services.
Aside from the LGUs, other groups that have joined the call included the Davao del Norte Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Tagum City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Samal Island Tourism Council, the Samal City Resort Owners Association, the Hugpong Manggama sa Isla, Samal Island Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the United Association of Tricycle Operators and Drivers of Samal.
Gentiles said the resolution specifically covers the LGUs that Nordeco serves in the province and that it is up to the other province, Davao de Oro, on whether it wants to continue to allow the cooperative to provide electricity to the province.
Davao de Oro was carved from Davao del Norte in 1998 and was formerly named as Compostela Valley.
A municipal government in Davao de Oro, Maco, has also joined the call after it passed a resolution on July 14 which pushed for the transfer of the service contract of Nordeco for the town also to Davao Light.
Mario Angelo Sotto, general manager of the cooperative, has branded the move of the local officials as driven by their personal interests as he maintained that the cooperative has slowly improved its services.
Sotto, who was appointed by President Duterte as general manager of the cooperative in 2017, said that it has slowly improved its services after about two decades of in-fighting between two groups, one affiliated with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and another with the Cooperative Development Authority. The courts eventually resolved the tussle in favor of the one affiliated with NEA, which led to the creation of the task force headed by Sotto.
Managing Editor at Mindanao Times
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