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Cooperative renewable energy

Egay Uy .

ENGR. David A. Tauli, former senior vice president of Cepalco, has initiated a move to organize former employees of the power distribution firm into a cooperative that will hopefully supply clean energy to end-users.

Dave has always been a passionate advocate of renewable energy, having walked on the footsteps left by the late Ramon C. Abaya whom many of us considered as the father of renewable energy in this part of the country.

To recall, it was during the time of Abaya when the one-megawatt photovoltaic power plant was put up in Barangay Indahag. At that time of its commissioning, it was the biggest grid-connected solar power plant in Asia, if not in the world.

Along with some other committed alumni of the power firm, Dave has started the works for the creation of a cooperative to be called ARC Renewable Energy Cooperative. It will be registered with the Cooperative Development Authority.

This coop, once formed, will not take over the distribution of electric energy to end-users but will hopefully supply clean energy to the local franchised distribution utility at a lower price. One former Cepalco executive doubts if this is possible, but many have already cast their stones on Dave’s calculations.

A cooperative or coop is an autonomous association of persons who voluntarily unite to meet their common needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.

Hence, no one person or shareholder will have control over the affairs of the coop and shareholding is limited to at most 20 percent of the available shares.  The coop will be jointly managed by all through the general assembly, the highest policy-making body, under the principle of one-man one-vote.

Among the common principles that bind cooperatives are voluntariness and open membership, democratic control by members who must actively participate in its affairs, and autonomy and independence, subject only to certain regulations by government through the CDA.

The efforts being put in by Dave into the proposed cooperative could bring economic relief to retirees who may still be working to make both ends meet.

Running the coop will not be new to everyone because the prospective coop shareholders were themselves either members or officers of the closed-type credit and consumers cooperatives of employees in their parent company.

Good luck to all of us!

 

(Egay Uy is a lawyer and co-chair of the City Price Coordinating Council, chair of the Regulatory and Complaints Board, and chair of the Joint Inspection Team of Cagayan de Oro. He is a retired senior executive of Cepalco.)

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