The comprehensive institutional, financial and technical audit being conducted by the inter-agency task force led by the Department of Energy, National Electrification Administration, National Power Corporation, and the Energy Regulatory Commission is aimed to identify the root causes of the pressing issues gripping Palawan Electric Cooperative, especially the incessant blackouts, and to give corrective actions and recommendations that will address these issues. Will there be hope for us—-consumers—-then, that these blackouts will be no longer occurring in the near future?
DOE Director III Atty. Cesar Fuente confirmed that 15-day audit will take even longer as it is the second largest franchise-holder in the whole country, and they will look into the technical and financial aspects of the operations. Any findings by the team will be shared to the management and to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who recommended to Congress the abolition of the franchise of the 17 electric cooperatives that are not ‘ailing’ as previously labeled by other media entities, but rather financially and technically distressed. The move of the energy secretary angered the 17 electric cooperatives and they even conducted their regular black Friday silent rally by wearing black shirts and celebrated black Valentine’s day by wearing black, as well.
There is also House Bill 8829 that has been filed to disenfranchise PALECO and to turn it over to private corporation. For Paleco, it’s a foul and politically motivated move. The fate of Paleco now will rely on how it would fare in the audit.
The audit, according to the Director dela Fuento will help Paleco address the gaps, most especially the unlimited blackouts happening in the whole province. Paleco has promised, and as always, look up to the needs and welfare of its member-consumer-owners or MCOs, and while the task force is conducting the audit, it is high time that all the needs and concerns of the electric cooperative will be addressed so as not to affect their franchise.
But Paleco is hopeful that it will improve its performance, like ORMECO that had recently been audited and according to the Director… it has already addressed the gaps, and even lowered their price per kilowatt hour. To the task force, it’s a bold move and worth emulating for, for the rest of the 16 electric cooperatives.
The fate of Paleco will still rely on its performance, and we hope that it will improve its service.
Regardless of whether or not it’s political in nature, what MCOs would like to have is a service that is worth paying for. And for Paleco, it has promised and has been addressing the gaps. It’s only for them to sustain their better service as expected of them.