3 power co-ops face raps for misuse of P400M

3 power co-ops face raps for misuse of P400M

3 power co-ops face raps for misuse of P400M

IN THE HOT SEAT As a heat wave sweeps across the country, three rural electric cooperatives find themselves in hot water as the National Electrification Administration accuses them of misspending over P400 million. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — The National Electrification Administration (NEA) wants to hold three “erring” electric cooperatives (ECs) accountable for allegedly misusing funds totaling more than P400 million.

NEA administrator Antonio Mariano Almeda earlier endorsed the filing of administrative cases with the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (Noceco), First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative Inc. and Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative-Area 2 (Neeco 2-Area 2).


The administrative charges may lead to “the proper determination of possible criminal liabilities therein,” the agency said.


READ: NEA lends P846M to 22 electric cooperatives

It added that Noceco “unduly” granted, without NEA’s approval, some P82 million in salaries, allowances and benefits in about three years.

First Bukidnon, on the other hand, was charged with misrepresenting data with the apparent aim of “window-dressing” its financial operations and its overspending of some P92.7 million in nonpower costs.

It also allegedly violated NEA’s procurement guidelines and granted unauthorized salary increases, allowances and benefits.

READ: NEA doubles down against corruption in utilities

Help from NBI

As for Neeco 2-Area 2, NEA said it sought help from the National Bureau of Investigation in looking into the EC’s employee retirement fund and general fund, wherein the agency said there was a misappropriation of about P250 million.


The NEA also advised the DOJ to look into “other possible remedial measures … in pursuing erring ECs.”

Noceco, established in 1978, provides electricity services to 13 towns, four cities and 308 barangays in the southern part of Negros Occidental.

Founded in 1972, First Bukidnon is the sole power distributor for one city and 11 towns in Bukidnon province and one municipality in Lanao del Sur province.

Neeco 2-Area 2 supplies electricity to 11 towns in Nueva Ecija province.

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The NEA, a government-owned and controlled corporation under the Department of Energy, oversees all 121 ECs in the country. It is also mandated to implement the government’s rural electrification program.


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