NEA urged to take over Bicol power coop due to frequent brownouts
Business owners, civic groups, and church leaders in Catanduanes want the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to take over the island’s electric cooperative due to six-to-eight-hour daily rotating brownouts.
They are also demanding the resignation of First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Ficelco) president Alexander Ang Hung due to his alleged failure to solve the province’s power woes.
Bishop Manolo delos Santos of Virac and the Catanduanes Sangguniang Panlalawigan both said NEA needs to take over the operations of Ficelco to protect its members-consumers.
According to a recent NEA audit, the power outages were allegedly due to the cooperative’s failure to establish proper system operations despite the anticipated surge in demand for power during hot summer months.
Meanwhile, an anti-drug and anti-corruption watchdog filed an administrative complaint against Ficelco and its officers before NEA.
The Catanduanes Crusaders Against Illegal Drugs and Corruption (CCAIDC) said residents are deprived of quality service due to Ficelco’s failure to ensure adequate power supply.
The complaint was filed against Ficelco’s Board of Directors, led by president Hung and directors Julian Soneja (San Andres District), Rodulfo Vargas (Bato District), Arsena Bernacer (Caramoran-Pandan District), Jonathan Valles (OIC-General Manager), and Jose Barro, Jr. (Dispatch Officer) .
Last week, hundreds of Ficelco’s members-consumers held a protest rally in front of the cooperative’s office.
The rallyists demanded that Ficelco immediately turn over the 3.6 MW Marinawa Power Plant to the National Power Corporation and install available generator sets in the island. /vvp
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