Celso intercedes on fresh Zamcelco row PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 December 2011 18:01

Mayor Celso Lobregat on Tuesday wasted no time in seeking audience with National Electrification Administration (NEA) officials in Manila in a bid to diffuse tension brewing between the Project Supervisor (PS) and the three-man board of directors of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO).

The mayor met with NEA Administrator Edith Bueno to seek clarifications about various issues and concerns that affect the relationship between Zamcelco PS Jess Castro and the 3-man board composed of president Efren Perez and members Bong Atilano and Agustin Graciano Jr.

Atilano, who was in Manila the same day, was invited by the mayor to join in the meeting with Administrator Bueno.

During the meeting, according to Mayor Lobregat, Bueno showed him and Atilano the copy of Castro’s appointment paper and clarified that Castro’s designation as Zamcelco project supervisor and acting general manager is not time bound or has no term limit, thus, no need for extension. This clarification rectifies earlier misconceptions that Castro’s term expires December 31, and that there is a need for the Zamcelco board to approve or disapprove the extension.

As NEA-designated Project Supervisor and acting general manager, Castro is tasked to attend to the day to day transactions at Zamcelco and that the board of directors is tasked as a policy-making board and not in charge of management.

Mayor Lobregat said in the case of the numerous issues brought to fore by the board of directors against Castro, the NEA administrator has emphasized that the same should be brought up officially to NEA and that it should be settled or discussed right away. 

The chief executive surmised that there was some kind of miscommunication or misinformation regarding the expiration of Castro’s appointment and that the board of directors was saying that it will not renew the appointment. “The issue was brought to my attention and so I said it is best that we intervene because the way it was going was that it was going to a point of no return. We cannot solve the problem through confrontation which is why we sought the guidance from NEA”.

With the clarifications from the NEA administrator, Mayor Lobregat is set to meet with Castro and the 3 board of directors soon to thresh out all issues and concerns in an effort to prevent the widening of the rift.

“I have spoken to the directors and I would want to sit down with them—the 3 directors and Castro and try to get things moving and not to deal with the issue on a confrontational basis, because in the end the ones to be affected are the consumers”, the mayor stressed.

He added that the proposed meeting with the lay down the ground rules in as far as the functions of the board and functions of Castro as the project supervisor and acting manager.

It is recalled that December last year, the NEA has designated Castro as project supervisor and acting GM of Zamcelco after it terminated the services of then general manager Rey Ramos and the members of the previous board in view of alleged anomalous transactions.

The other day, published reports showed a brewing rift between the new board and the project supervisor threatening fresh controversies in cooperative.
Meanwhile, Mayor Lobregat said the NEA administrator hinted that Zamcelco, without the NEA point man or supervision, is not ready, as yet, to stand on its own. — Sheila Covarrubias