Gov’t to revoke franchise of non-performing electric cooperatives

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Oct) – The government will revoke the franchise of electric cooperatives in Mindanao and allow new players to take over their operation if they fail to improve delivery of services, Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella warned.

In an interview during the Mindanao Energy Investment Forum at the Grand Regal Hotel on Thursday, Fuentebella said they are waiting for the issuance of an executive order from Malacañang that will give the agency authority to waive the franchise of non-performing electric cooperatives in Mindanao.

The DOE will give the franchise to private players to ensure an efficient delivery of power services to consumers in unserved and underserved areas, he said.

But if there would be no interested players, Fuentebella said they will mandate the National Power Corporation to provide provision of adequate, reliable, and efficient supply of electricity in missionary areas.

“What if they are not able to comply with the timeline? Their franchise will be deemed waived if they fail to provide the right services,” he said.

Fuentebella said the government targets to energize all households in the country by 2022.

According to data from DOE, the current household electrification level as of December 2017 was at 88.3 percent, with 21 million of the 24 million households in the country having access to electricity.

It added that the DOE identified six regions with electrification levels falling below 80 percent. There are four in Mindanao (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, 27.4 percent; SOCCSKARGEN, 65.6 percent; Zamboanga peninsula, 67 percent; and Davao Region, 68.2 percent), the Negros Island Region in the Visayas (79.3 percent) and MIMAROPA in Luzon (79.9 percent).

At least P505 million of the proposed P2-billion budget of the DOE will be allotted for the agency’s Total Electrification Program, it said.

Fuentebella said the utilization of proper technologies can help the government attain its target. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)