NEA Administrator Edita S. Bueno told MindaNews that the Department of Energy had already released P27 million to support the rehabilitation of Lasureco, plagued by financial setbacks.
The project will start this month, Bueno said.
Part of the restructuring program would be the division of Lasureco’s service area into three business centers to solve its operational problems. These are Marawi City as Area 1, the municipalities in the province first district as Area 2, and the second district as Area 3. Each center has a respective manager.
Marawi City generates 70 percent of the revenue in rural electrification in Lanao del Sur.
Lasureco is the sole distributor of electric power to 40 towns and one city in Lanao del Sur. But Bueno said that for several years, “its operation deteriorated and suffered financial setback due to high systems loss caused by rampant pilferage and lack of material to rehabilitate the system”.
Lasureco’s “very low collection efficiency” has resulted to huge arrears, mainly with the National Power Corporation (Napocor), a NEA statement said.
Another strategy earlier adapted to improve operation under the ongoing rehabilitation program was organizing the advisory council that eventually formed the Interim Board of Directors of Lasureco. This unit is composed of credible Maranao personalities.
Engineer Beliamen Mamainte, a member of the IBD, was designated acting general manager to oversee the entire restructuring process.
Meanwhile, construction of lines has been going on in the remaining unenergized barangays in the province that included three barangays of Piagapo, 16 barangays in Bayang and four barangays in Butig. Bueno said the DOE allocated P11 million to complete the project by December 2006.
The National Transmission Corp. (Transco) was completing the construction of a 28- kilometer Abaga-Marawi 69 KV transmission line “to ensure reliable power supply in Marawi City. The project was expected to be completed before the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramahdan.
Bueno has urged the Moro communities and the local government units of Lanao del Sur “to help and cooperate in the restructuring process of Lasureco to improve the socio-economic condition, environment and peace and order”.
Bueno said the Lasureco management has committed to improve the system “with utmost competence, honesty and effeciency”. The restructuring and rehabilitation program would be supported with technical and other asisstance from the Transco, Napocor, Misamis Oriental -1 Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Moresco-1) and Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Richel V. Umel/MindaNews)