Daneco-NEA to pay P2.1-B debt in 2 years

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte – The group that the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to manage the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) Inc. has promised to settle within the next two years its P2.1 billion debts to its suppliers.

At the press conference here Tuesday, Mario Angelo M. Sotto, NEA project supervisor for Daneco, said the Task Force Duterte, the group managing the power utility, will continue to find ways to improve the cooperative even if the controversy surrounding it has continued to hound it.

“We will continue to improve the efficiency (of the cooperative),” said Sotto, pointing out that in May, it was able to increase its collection efficiency to 98% as it collected about P422 million that month. The cooperative has 197,880 household connections.

The electric cooperative, which distributes power to most parts of Davao del Norte and the entire Compostela Valley, has become controversial after a group worked for its accreditation with the Cooperative Development Authority, splitting it into two, the one that pushed the CDA accreditation as well as the one under NEA.
The issue was brought before the courts that in 2014, the Court of Appeals favored the one associated with the NEA, but the one accredited by the CDA has continued the fight. About a year ago, the CA issued a final ruling on the issue, but the one affiliated with CDA has refused to budge as it brought the issue before President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

The NEA then created the Task Force Duterte – North Davao Power after the court ruled in its favor.
Last month, representatives of the Daneco-CDA went to Malacanang to talk with President Duterte, but the latter was not available at that time, said Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor E. Delola.
“We…only that the people (consumers of the cooperative) are served. The only way to do it is to have just one entity,” said Delola, as the Daneco-CDA was insisting that the court order was on the previous Daneco-CDA board, not the present one.

He said the department will try to talk with the Daneco-CDA so that the issue can be resolved even as the agency is still evaluating the issues surrounding the controversy.

Edgardo B. Masongsong, NEA administrator, said the problem has nearly been resolved as only about five percent of its consumers were still paying to the one affiliated with the CDA.

Masongsong said it is fortunate that the local government units, through their chief executives, have supported the Daneco-NEA as the two governors, Anthony G. del Rosario for Davao del Norte and Jayvee Tyron L. Uy for Compostela, have supported the entity.

Since the high collection efficiency has been achieved, the cooperative will only have to implement mechanisms on how it can reduce its systems loss, which has gone down to 20% from 23% during the past administration.
“I believe the problem of systems loss will go down to the cap (of 13%),” said Masongsong as based on the study of Daneco-NEA, the systems loss of one percent is equivalent to P4 million in losses.

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