DANECO consumers to protest privatization scheme on Monday’s SONA

By
July 21 2013

The Save Daneco Movement (SADAMO) said they are mobilizing 1,000 members to oppose a law signed by President Benigno Aquino III that allows the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to take over DANECO and paves the way for the latter’s privatization.

By CHERYLL D. FIEL
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY  —  Consumers and members from Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO) will join protest actions in Tagum City for Monday’s State of the Nation Address.

The Save Daneco Movement (SADAMO) said they are mobilizing 1,000 members to oppose a law signed by President Benigno Aquino III that allows the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to take over DANECO and paves the way for the latter’s privatization.

SADAMO’s spokesperson Rodel Arquiza, in a press conferenceThursday, disclosed that the NEA incurred a loan of P262 million for the rehabilitation of power in typhoon Pablo-affected areas, and another set of loans to procure expensive generator sets.

Arquiza said these transactions are devoid of transparency, the fact that they found out about these loans recently when communication on its second tranche was received at the office of Daneco -Cooperative Development Agency (Daneco-CDA).

The Daneco-CDA is the faction that wanted to bolt out from the control of the NEA. Of Daneco’s 125,000 member-consumers, 38,460 are paying their bills to the Daneco-CDA because they charge lower rates to consumers.

Arquiza blamed Daneco’s woes to a law signed by Aquino, RA 10531, which gave NEA the authority to step-in and take over an electric cooperative that is considered to be ailing.

Arquiza said they are worried that NEA’s insistence to retain its hold on Daneco, and its continuous incursion of debts will lead to the deterioration of the financial status of the cooperative.

He said the Daneco Board has already lodged a petition with the Department of Energy (DOE).

Sadamo wants RA 10531 to be scrapped as it gives consumers a hard time to pay electric bills given the hard times and soaring prices of basic goods and commodities.

Reverend Leve Laurente, Sadamo co-convenor, said NEA would fast hand over DANECO to interested private entities such as Aboitiz.

Aboitiz is the current electric provider of some areas in Davao del Norte not serviced by Daneco, such as Panabo City, the towns of Carmen, Sto. Tomas and Braulio E. Dujali. Aboitiz is also the owner of Therma Marine, Inc., one of the energy suppliers of Daneco.

Privatization, Arquiza said, is bane for the public if this is done on an institution that provides basic utility to the public.

“The machinations of NEA on Daneco are clearly supported by Malacañang, as its flagship program, Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) banks on the participation of private companies to provide public goods and services.This Monday is our time to show our disgust on a President that clearly favors private interest at the expense of public good,” Laurente added.

The Save Daneco Movement has long opposed Aboitiz’ entry since it entered a joint venture proposal with NEA in the 90s.

When the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or EPIRA law was passed in 2001, Daneco took advantage of its provision which sites that electric cooperatives may then have the option to become a full-fledge cooperative by way of registration with the CDA.

Member consumers overwhelmingly voted in favor to register Daneco with the CDA by a vote of 49,000 to 1,000, according to SADAMO. (Cheryll D. Fiel/davaotoday.com)

, , , , , , , , , ,
comments powered by Disqus

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.