Zamcelco at the brink PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 August 2018 14:37

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

Two news items in our local paper reported recently that our Mayor and the 1st District  Representative have separately requested NEA to take over Zamcelco to prevent it from further collapse. Also, WMPC has announced that Zamcelco has been given until July 31 to pay its staggering back account to WMPC for power the company supplies the coop. If payment is not made, the announcement said, WMPC will be forced to cut by 20% the power that Zamcelco gets from WMPC and which is distributed to the subscribers.

Who are the subscribers ( or members ) of Zamcelco? That is us, reader. And that means if there is no intervention from NEA or some other authority, we can brace ourselves for  a new and familiar season of rotating brownouts.

All I can say is that with the way things are working out at the coop, with the style of management at the very top, what we have now is no surprise. The surprise might be said in that this could have happened earlier.

If the coop were an ordinary business entity its Board would have long been made accountable to the stock holders ( coop members in this case) and because of poor performance, been booted out. But the Board was not given this level of accountability to the members.  Over the years the poor management  was simply disregarded  or glossed over until, finally, the coop is drowning in debt. I understand the debt stands at some P2 billion something.

Over the years we have had a group of coop members who made it their business to be some kind of watchdog  over how the coop was run. These were not people who had nothing better to do than scrutinize the transactions of Zamcelco. They were people who had their own professional careers or successful businesses to  attend to but considered it their duty as good citizens to monitor how the coop was functioning. For their civic-mindedness they were often thought of as trouble makers. Now that the coop is about to go belly-up where are all those rah-rah boys of Zamcelco?

It is July  31 as I sit in front of my computer to write this. And I cannot help wondering if any minute now the power will be cut off because WMPC has carried out what it said it will do if the amount it is trying to get Zamcelco to pay up is not paid by this date.

There was a time when our brownouts were due to a shortage of power supply in Mindanao. But that is no longer the situation now. The problem is of a different type of shortage – shortage of funds for Zamcelco to pay its debt of several millions to WMPC.