By NITZ ARANCON
A GROUP of cooperatives have closed ranks as they launched a bid to win congressional seats in response to a move by the Department of Energy to have the franchises of 17 electric cooperatives canceled for being “financially and technically distressed.”
Seven of the cooperatives in the list submitted by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to Speaker Gloria Arroyo are the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc., Sulu Electric Cooperative Inc., Basilan Electric Cooperative Inc., Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative Inc., Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative Inc., Maguindanao Electric Cooperative Inc. and the Tawi-Tawi Electric Cooperative Inc..
Cusi however took back his Jan. 11, 2019 recommendation in a letter to Arroyo on Feb. 1, 2019, after the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Inc. (Philreca) protested and called the Energy secretary’s move as an act that was without “due process.”
Edna Diango, spokesperson of the Misamis Oriental I Electric Service Cooperative, said despite Cusi’s move to take back his recommendation, Philreca is not taking chances.
Diango said the electric cooperatives have united in an effort to win seats in the Lower House through the party-list system.
She said the group is united behind the Philreca party-list in Luzon, Apec party-list in the Visayas, Recoboda party-list in western Mindanao, and Ako Padayon Pilipino party-list in northern and eastern Mindanao.
“Kami nga mga electric coop sa northern ug western Mindanao, nanghulam lang una ug party-list sa partido Padayon Pilipino aron maka-apil kani sa election sa Mayo,” Diango said. “Nagkinahanglan kami sa tingog sa kongreso aron ma-oy manalipod kanamo sa oras nga ipadayon gayud sa DOE ang ilang tingoha pag-cancel sa among congressional franchise. Mao nang na-ay among party-list candidates.”