MARAWI CITY (MindaNews / 17 August) — The Task Force Lasureco (Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative) has appealed to consumers in Lanao to stop tampering with their electric meters.
Col. Glen Macasero, commanding officer of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade and co-chair of Task Force Lasureco, said Lasureco will replace tampered meters but if consumers tamper with these again to prevent meter reading, they will have to pay for the installation of these meters.
“Kung sisirain pa nila ang mga existing electric meters baka wala na kaming maikakabit pa at ang next meter mo na ma-install ay babayaran na” (if they will still destroy their electric meters, we might run out of meters and you will have to pay if you want another one reinstalled), Macasero said in a press statement.
Task Force Lasureco (TFL) was organized and mandated by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to implement the rehabilitation measures of the electric cooperative, enhance management and operations to improve revenues.
The Task Force is composed of Assistant Secretary Matanug Mapandi of NEA who acts as Chairman of the Board while Macasero and Chief Superintendent Edgardo Ingking, Acting Director for Integrated Police Operations – Eastern Mindanao, serve as Co-chairman effective August 7.
Macasero said Lasureco’s franchise covers 37 municipalities except Bumbaran and Wao towns, plus the three municipalities of Pantar, Balo-i and Pantao Ragat of Lanao del Norte.
Lasureco has 59,379 household-consumers. But of this number, only 16,600 have individual meters, he said.
He said the TFL has intensified operations against illegal tapping and tampering of electric meters to reduce systems loss and increase revenue collection. Lasureco has an outstanding P 8 billion debt.
“Mayron tayong batas, pag mayron kang ginawang labag sa batas, ipatupad ang batas” (We have a law. If you done something against the law, the law must be enforced), he said, adding this is the reason why the Philippine National Police and the Department of Justice are part of the of the inter-agency coordinating body.
Macasero said Lasureco won’t be able to recover and stand on its own if the consumers will violate the law. “The Maranaws own Lasureco, therefore each Maranaw should be empowered to protect the electric cooperative. There is no such free electricity,” he said.
“The metering project will cost P75 Million and will be implemented within six months,” Macasero said.
Ingking, the other co-chair of TFL, said Lasureco will be identifying members of good standing. Each consumer must fill up a new membership form so that by February 2015, they would elect their representatives to the Board of Directors so a new chair can be elected and a general manager hired.
“A massive information drive will undertaken in the entire franchise area so that the consumers will be properly informed and educated during the rehabilitation phase.” Ingking said. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)