Execs of debt-ridden electric co-op resignBy Rachel Arnaiz
CATARMAN, Northern Samar— Saddled with accumulated debts of P580 million, the Northern Samar Electric Cooperative (Norsamelco), which distributes power throughout the province, is now operating without a board of directors.
Jonathan de Dios, the cooperative’s president, said he and eight other board members submitted their “irrevocable” resignation to the National Electrification Administration (NEA), blaming “troublemakers” for their decision.
Norsamelco serves 24 towns in Northern Samar and has 55,578 customers. One of its 10 directors, Crispolo Abayon of San Antonio district, has died.
The NEA has taken over the management of Norsamelco, which has a total debt of P580 million to Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (P506 million), National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (P36 million), National Power Corp. Special Power Utilities Group (P2 million) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (P38 million in expanded value-added tax).
Those who resigned were De Dios, who represents the composite district of San Isidro and Victoria, Alberto Cornejo (Pambujan), Ronald Tafalla (Las Navas), Domingo Amaro (Palapag), Arnel Laguitan (Rawis), Arturo Ballicud (Catarman), Danilo Anaviso (San Jose), Macario Cabalitan (San Roque) and Francisco Suan (Allen).
The officers were elected in 2008 and had served for five years.
De Dios said a group of employees who “do not respect” them had been trying “to oust them.”
Acting general manager Hector Tabilisima said the absence of the board would not adversely affect Norsamelco. Their resignation might have stemmed from an administrative complaint filed against them by some employees, he said.
A petition dated Aug. 5 and addressed to NEA Deputy Administrator Edgar Piamonte sought the ouster of the directors and an election of a new board. It alleged that the board of directors illegally assigned department heads and managers, and committed abuses against employees.
The NEA ordered a 90-day preventive suspension of the board of directors and directed its members to answer the petition within 10 days. Instead, the directors filed their resignation, Tabilisima said.
De Dios dismissed the accusations as maneuvers by “troublemakers” to oust the board of directors.