Why insist on the NEA takeover? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 August 2018 11:45

LOOKING IN

BY ROD BALBON

Our city elected officials must be suffering short memories or are just plain masochists for insisting the takeover of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) of the Zamcelco management to save it from sinking into the quagmire of financial catastrophe.

Mayor Beng Salazar and Congressman Celco Lobregat have never learned or saw the unfavorable collaboration of these two bodies that brought unending, continuing and debilitating blackouts to electric consumers of the city. These always unannounced blackouts, have now totally exasperated the denizens of the city and businessmen who are now experiencing high costs in operating their generators to produce their own electricity. If not, these city officials possess longer tolerance to pain and sacrifices brought about by the continuous blackouts and Zamcelco’s mismanagement of their cooperative.

But the NEA is nothing better than Zamcelco. While the former is mandated by law, that created it, to supervise all electric cooperatives in the country, to include our beloved Zamcelco, it appears that this is a useless office tasked to perform its mandated task.

A very glaring example is when it approved Zamcelco’s purchase of several vehicles for the use of its officials despite knowing that the latter is already sinking in the financial quicksand. It also approved Zamcelco’s purchase of generators to generate additional power to curb the number of hours of brownouts without verifying whether these generators are functional and will surely perform their intended purpose. Many consumers are now of the belief that by approving these purchases, NEA has also earned their commissions, without minding that Zamcelco is going bankrupt.

Now our elected officials are recommending the takeover by NEA of the management of Zamcelco. It is like placing Dracula to guard the blood bank. This temporary takeover is useless because of the completion and entry of the Investment Management Contract (IMC) by August 30 of this month. With this development, Mayor Beng Salazar and Congressman Celco Lobregat should instead support and assist Zamcelco in the bidding process of the IMC which is already halfway for completion. Asking NEA to temporarily take over will not solve the problem of Zamcelco nor will it be the solution. The winning bidder will invest their money plus expertise in power retailing to manage the financially bankrupt electric cooperative. It should be recalled that Zamcelco has a total of P2 billion unpaid debts to its power suppliers. The NEA will not invest money in Zamcelco. In case it will take over the management of this electric cooperative, it will still utilize the same managers and board members who have brought financial disaster to the cooperative.

Why don’t they instead assist Zamcelco to complete the on-going bidding process and don’t ask NEA to take over the electric cooperative while the former is feverishly finding and trying ways to save itself by way of choosing the winning IMC bidder?

Cebu and Davao, for example, are now being supplied cheap and continuous electricity 24/7 by private power providers and their progress and development are phenomenal. If our city officials still insist in choosing NEA to take over the management of Zamcelco, then I am dumb.

MISCELLANEOUS; Those who want to listen to acoustic music of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, the place to go is Cape Zambo located at Mayor Jaldon St. facing the OWWA and POEA offices. Cold beers and tasty ‘pulutans’ are available to go along with the music. Be there.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 August 2018 11:56