DAVAO CITY –  The local government of Asuncion town  owes the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc., under the National Electrification Administration  P 8 million.In an interview with Davao Today, Daneco legal counsel, Atty. Jorge Rapista, said Daneco’s board of director and management decided to cut the power supply of Asuncion local government because of “none payment of obligations.”

“At the end of 2014 [the power bill] reached P6 million plus,” Rapista said on Friday.

Rapista said “as of February the latest statement of account sent to Asuncion’s government-owned offices is P 7 million.”

“There is another P1.4 million, I think this is for street lights. So it’s approximately P8 million,” Rapista said.

Mayor Joseph Nilo Parreñas said the reason for the cutting of power connections was because they paid their previous electric bills to the faction of Daneco under the Cooperative Development Authority (Daneco-CDA).

Parreñas said they were paying to Daneco-CDA until September of last year.

“We started paying our electric bills to Daneco NEA on December last year and they received our partial payment. But on the following months of January and February this year, they stopped receiving our payment,” Parreñas said in an interview with Radyo ni Juan Tagum on Thursday .

“We have already requested for the reconciliation of our dues,” said Parreñas, but Daneco-Nea refused to accept the payment of almost P400,000 by the municipal government.

The Asuncion local government experienced the power interruptions starting at around 2am on Wednesday.

Rapista said the Asuncion local government cannot blame Daneco.

He said they have been sending demand letter to the local government to pay their obligations.

Rapista also said Asuncion was informed of the status of Daneco NEA and Daneco CDA since 2012.

“They were informed as to who is the authorized entity to accept payment,” he said.

“The whole franchise area will suffer if this practice continue,” he said adding that if they receive the payment made by Asuncion previously it would “imply that they have already paid their previous arrears.”

“Let’s say their due last year is more than 6 million, and they would pay around P300,000 only and they would apply it on their billing for January and February, that is impossible,” Rapista said.

“If you will pay, it should be applied to your previous arrears, so definitely we cannot accept that,” Rapista said.

“Daneco is only a distribution utility. We also buy power from suppliers and we pay them every month. If we fail to pay, there is a penalty,” Rapista said.

Illegal routing

Rapista said the Asuncion LGU filed “an injuction with ex parte prayer for temporary restraining order on March 19, without any hearing.”

“The court issued a TRO 72 hours directing Daneco to reconnect the power supply,” Rapista said.

Rapista said upon their verification the LGU has allegedly “illegally reconnected” the power supply.

Rapista said they are also questioning the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) to issue the order citing that Daneco is under the Republic Act 10531 or the National Electrification Administration Reform Act of 2013.

“Under the law, the RTC cannot issue an injunction against the National Electrification Administration or in the Court of Appeals. That’s another illegal and highly irregular order,” Rapista said.

Rapista said they can not easily reconcile the payment made by the Asuncion LGU to the faction of Daneco CDA since they are not aware that “those payments were paid to power suppliers”.

“There is no proof that the money were paid to our power suppliers,” he said.

Rapista said the local government of Asuncion could ran after Daneco CDA and account for the payments made to prove that it was paid to the power suppliers.

“Maybe we could honor that if they could prove it,” he said. (davaotoday.com)


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