BANGUED, ABRA – The proposal to create a new bank by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) supposedly tailor-fit to bankroll expansion and other requirements of electric cooperatives (EC) is misplaced amidst unaccomplished tasks to revive the 10 ailing cooperatives all over the country.
Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco) general manager Loreto Seares Jr. believed the plan to convert the Rural Electrification Financial Corporation (REFC) to a banking institution for consumers will become redundant. “NEA already is itself a (financial) institution.”
NEA chief Edgardo Masongsong had pushed for the conversion citing REFC’s “tremendous potential.”
The NEA chief also had a second option when REFC is not converted into bank, consumers can create an Electric Cooperative Consumers Bank.
Masongsong was looking at the potential of the 11.8 million EC consumers all over the country and looking forward to challenging the so-called “old families in the banking and financial sector.”
Out of 121 ECs monitored by the agency, 77 power coops are rated AAA which means they consistently increase efficiencies on financial, institutional and technical areas of their operations.
But Seares Jr. said, “instead, NEA should vent its energies to the ailing electric cooperatives in the country, including Abreco, and resuscitate it back to life.”
Although backing the creation of task forces to oversee the operations of financially-strapped power cooperatives all over the country, Abreco believed, “this should have been followed by NEA’s grant of technical, financial and institutional assistance to the ECs so that they can rehabilitate and improve their operations for a given period before NEA steps in.”
Abreco, Seares Jr. bantered, has not been receiving any assistance from NEA despite institutional reforms already implemented by the cooperative. Ace Alegre / ABN
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