Group asks NEA to look for another Zamcelco GM PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 11:49

The local chapter of an electric consumer’s group, in a letter addressed to National Electrification Administration (NEA) Administrator Edita S. Bueno, expresses disappointment on what it said the poor performance of Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZAMCELCO) General Manager Engr. George Ledesma.

Mon Follosco, Zamboanga City Chapter president of the National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms, Inc. (NASECORE-Zamboanga City) said the letter dated Sept. 8 was addressed to the NEA Administrator and copies were furnished to all concerned agencies including local officials.

Part of the letter states “We, the NASECORE-Zamboanga City Chapter strongly manifest our extreme disappointment over the dismal and poor performance of Mr. George G. Ledesma as NEA’s appointed general manager of ZAMCELCO in an acting capacity since 2013”.

Follosco said upon Ledesma’s assumption to office in 2013, “the city was already beset with 2 to 4-hour brownouts, with debt of almost a billion, 19.5% system loss, and a comprehensive loss of P3million in 2013”.

“Disappointingly, in 2014, all of the above cited problems have worsened further. Our brownouts rose to 6-8 hours daily, the coops’ debts to more than P1-billion, the system loss to more than 20%, and the comprehensive loss from P3-million to P128 million with a very big difference of P125-million,” Follosco added.

He said the people of Zamboanga City and the business sector, generally known to have favored Engr. George Ledesma, have afforded him a year and nine months as acting general manager to prove his competence.

“But, sad to say, he (Ledesma) has failed miserably at the unfathomable expense of the trusting member-consumers. We believe the time has come, others must be given the opportunity to show their capability in the interest of the consuming public,” Follosco stressed.

He said NASECORE is still waiting for the letter reply from NEA’s decisive response. Copies of the Nasecore letter were also furnished to DOE Secretary Jericho Petilla, ERC Chairperson Zenaida Cruz-Ducut, Senate Committee Chairman on Energy Sen. Serge Osmeña III, House Committee Chairman on Energy Congressman Reynaldo Umali, District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat, District 2 Representative Lilia Macrohon-Nuño, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and all the city councilors and DILG City   Director Moh. Taha Arakama.

“It is for this reason that we respectfully urge the NEA Board of Administrators, being the lender and the regulator of electric cooperatives and with the power to appoint and disappoint the general manager under its control and supervision, like ZAMCELCO, to look for another GM who can immediately arrest the worsening operation of ZAMCELCO, to avoid falling into the category of an “AILING COOPERATIVE” where NEA will be compelled to take over – a condition that we all look with contempt as this will inevitably and unnecessarily show the failure of NEA,” Follosco emphasized.

Meanwhile, Follosco said NASECORE also wrote a letter to GM Ledesma dated September 8, this year, requesting ZAMCELCO’S Board and Management for a copy of the Board resolution approving the increase in the NEA-approved budget for the employee benefits, sundries and for the CASH FOR SINKING FUND, copy of the Board resolution approving the retirement of the said officers and employees and the NEA confirmation/approval letter and other transmittal letters.

“This is to prove that the coop’s fund utilization is all authorized and therefore, legal, as there are three excesses fund utilization of 221,256,463.75, this is very big difference compared to NEA’s approved budget. We are talking of millions of pesos at the expense of member-consumers,” Follosco said.

“However, should the Board and Management fail or refuse to furnish us the documents and information requested as cited above within fifteen days from receipt, we will take it to mean that the excess fund utilization were all unauthorized and therefore, illegal. And such being the case, we will be constrained to demand for the immediate refund of the above-cited amount of P221,256,463.75 and seek the necessary remedy to protect the consumer-owners from the apparent fiscal mismanagement and deceit in the utilization of the coop funds,” Follosco pointed out. -Dan Toribio Jr.