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Consumer group to Nordeco: Present `collected signatures’

A Davao del Norte consumer advocacy group has challenged the North Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco) to present the signatures that the electric cooperative supposedly collected from its consumers to oppose the move to replace it as electricity provider of the province.

What Nordeco has done so far has been to present bundles and bundles of paper supposedly containing the signatures and has not even shown any authentic one, said Ave Rose Castillo, convenor of the DavNor Energy Modernization Movement.

“If signatures are authentic they should present it to the public so that the authenticity could be examined and proven that truly their position has the support of the majority of its consumers,” said Castillo whose group has been pushing for the change in provider for the province because of what it termed as inefficient service and expensive electricity that the people of the province have been paying for.

Castillo made a statement after a friend told her that she was made to sign a a sheet of blank paper when she paid her bill.

“I would not be surprised if my signature was among those it included in the documents because I signed an attendance sheet when I entered the office,” Castillo quoted her friend as saying.

For the longest time, instead of listening to the complaints of its consumers, “what the cooperative has done has been try to sweep these complaints under the rugs and collaborate with dubious groups just so they could continue deceiving their consumers,” she added.

Castillo’s group is just one of those supporting the move that would allow Davao Light and Power Co. (Davao Light) to expand its services to the rest of the province as it has been serving Panabo City, Sto. Tomas, Carmen, Braulio Dujali and parts of Kapalong since 1976 aside from being the provider of power to Davao City.

But the major supporters of the move are the local officials of the province regardless of party affiliation as all the remaining local government units, except for one town, and Maco in Davao de Oro passed resolutions supporting the call.

Other groups backing the proposal were the different business organizations and other consumer groups in the province.

Because of the massive support, the House of Representatives has passed a proposal that would allow Davao Light to provide service to the rest of Davao del Norte and Maco in Davao de Oro. The bill is now pending for review by the Senate.

The move has agitated the cooperative which claimed that about 90,000 of its consumers have signed a campaign that opposed the plan.

Last month, the cooperative organized a rally backed by progressive organizations to voice its opposition to the proposal, but Gov. Edwin Jubahib, one of the main backers of the proposal, ordered that the protest action be stopped because it might cause the spread of the virus.

Jubahib also pointed out that those opposing the plan can bring their sentiments to proper fora, including the Senate discussion on the bill and the provincial investigation into the affairs of the cooperative after a boardmember accused it of using its resources to attack officials supporting the proposal. PR


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