Govt plans to take over electric co-op in Marawi

THE head of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) said Malacañang is set to issue an order for the takeover of an electric cooperative in Marawi City.

“There’s a proposed EO [executive order] submitted by the Office of the President for the government takeover of Lasureco [Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative],” NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong said. “That’s a decision reached by a committee composed of the DOE [Department of Energy], DOF [Department of Finance] and others.”

A five-month battle between government troops and Islamic State-inspired militants has razed Marawi City.

Masongsong explained the issuance of an EO is necessary because “the Marawi siege
occurred.”

“Marawi is under Lasureco. Its debts will either be condoned but subjected to a law,” he added. “Definitely, there will be additional budget for that.”

Lasureco, which operates within the area served by the Agus hydroelectric power complex, has about P10 billion in debt as of last year.

Masongsong said the NEA had earlier set aside P84 million to reconstruct the distribution lines connecting to Lasureco customers.

Aside from Lasureco, Masongsong cited other debt-ridden ECs that need financial assistance. These include Baselco (Basilan Electric Cooperative), Suleco (Sulu Electric Cooperative), Tawelco (Tawi-Tawi Electric Cooperative) and Maselco (Masbate Electric Cooperative).

“Because of the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, it’s stated there the Bangsamoro government will have control and supervision over ECs,” Masongsong said. “It’s not that the private sector can no longer come in, but they will have the power to decide if they want or not.

The IRR [implementing rules and regulations] will state what will be the role of NEA.”

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