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ROUGH CUTS| Just thinking of possibilities ahead

Now we have a new Police Director in the Davao Region.   The guy is not new in Davao City as he has served a good number of years as a policeman in the place. 

We hope he will live up to the expectations of Davaoenos.


This one is thinking ahead much earlier than people might expect.

It cannot be denied that the franchise of Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (NORDECO) which distributes power in the Provinces of Davao del Norte (most of it) and Davao de Oro is expiring within the next five to 8 years.

It is also known that other electricity distribution firms are eyeing to take over the franchise area should the power coop fail to have it renewed by Congress for whatever reasons.

If this happens, necessarily NORDECO will have to demand remuneration of its existing assets from whichever group will get the opportunity to have the franchise in the covered areas of the cooperative. And by this time we can be certain that the asset value could already be in billions of pesos. But the payment will include the assumption of NORDECO’s existing debts to its suppliers. Now, where will the remainder of whatever is left of the money paid for the value of the assets go? 

The normal thing to happen is it will accrue to the electric cooperative. But then as its name itself suggests, NORDECO is a cooperative composed of supposed consumer members. Will the consumer members be shared with the remaining money? How will the sharing be determined considering that the supposed cooperative members are not putting in share capital?

Without a doubt, these issues would be major gray areas should such an eventuality happen to the NORDECO franchise or any other power cooperative.

We believe therefore that these particular issues be studied even at this early because with what is happening now of the services of electric distribution by supposed cooperatives there is always the likelihood that some will not be able to renew their franchises primarily because of the aggressiveness of some private distributors and their influence on certain members of Congress and government decision-makers.


In an earlier column, we tackled the issue of the observations of some electricity consumers in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) that even if the submarine power cable project of NORDECO will be completed there is no assurance that the quality of power in that Island City will improve substantially.

We agree with the assertion because the quality of power that will be delivered to IGaCoS will be dependent on the capability of the equipment or facilities installed that will help boost the power.

Then suddenly it dawns on us that even the submarine cable construction may not have all the required authority from the appropriate government agencies.  Like for example, there might be a need for the power coop to acquire an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) considering that the submarine cable will cut across the channel from the Pantukan side of the mainland to IGaCoS. Meaning, it could disturb the marine habitat. 

And there might still be other clearances that must be obtained by the project owner. The question is: Have all these documentary requirements been complied with?

If not, and the installation is already ongoing, then whoever or whichever group funded, either through grant or loan, the project it sure must be extremely confident that it has the influence to procure the needed clearances. By the way, is the regional office of DENR aware of the ongoing submarine cable project and the compliance of the project owner with the requirements? Maybe the office needs to check.

This is one area in that much-ballyhooed project that is worth watching.


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