COA audits P427.67-M subsidy to Northern Samar power provider
TACLOBAN CITY — The Commission on Audit (COA) is conducting an audit of the P427.67 million subsidy extended to the Northern Samar Electric Cooperative (Norsamelco).
The audit conducted by COA was intended to determine if the subsidy it received from the National Electrification Administration (NEA) was properly accounted for and utilized according to its purpose.
The P427.67 million subsidy to Norsamelco, issued in 2011 and 2022 respectively, was released for the power utility to implement the Barangay Line Enhancement Program and the sitio electrification program (SEP).
COA will look into the cost of materials, labor, and contracts as well as whether or not the projects were implemented in accordance with the specifications and prescribed timelines, and if Norsamelco’s monitoring system is also in place and operational.
The audit team will also look into Norsamelco’s rates, and whether the charges to member-consumers are just and reasonable and in compliance with the policies of regulatory agencies.
Norsamelco serves the entire province of Northern Samar with 119,062 member-consumers and has a power rate of P15.99 per kilowatt hour–among the highest in Eastern Visayas.
Personnel from Norsamelco have previously appeared to the provincial board to explain what were the reasons for the high cost of power and frequent power interruptions in the province.
COA’s visitorial powers extend to non-government entities like Norsamelco under Section 29 of Presidential Decree 1445 or the State Audit Code of the Philippines whose authority specifically pertains to the funds or subsidies coming from the government.
The Inquirer has called the general manager of Norsamelco, Edith Perfecto, but she has yet to respond.