VP Leni, electric coops ink pact for reform of electricity sector
Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday, February 3, signed a covenant with the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (Philreca) outlining their shared vision for the reform of the electricity sector in the country.
The covenant declared that the signatories will “support and protect a leader with unquestionable qualifications, untarnished integrity, and ironclad credibility”.
The covenant also included the prioritization of social equitability in governance, removal of multiple taxations across the energy supply chain, the establishment of a Mindanao Power Corporation owned by electric cooperatives (ECs) and member consumer owners (MCOs), and the commitment of all parties to a platform of governance centered on people empowerment.
Robredo is a champion of empowering electric cooperatives and their member MCOs as a key component of developing the country’s energy sector. Philreca is the national association of 121 electric cooperatives (ECs) across the country, with 14 million MCOs.
“’Yung pagkakaroon natin ng electric cooperatives ay isa sa pinakamalaking mekanismo para ‘yung pinaka stakeholder sa energy sector ay mayroong boses,” said Robredo in her message to the group. The covenant signing was held at the Royce Hotel in Clark, Pampanga.
“Ang sukat lang kung tayo ay bumubuti bilang isang bansa, kung ‘yung mga naiiwan sa baba ay natutulungan natin na tumaas. Sa energy sector, kayo ‘yung magpo-provide ngayon,” she added.
Robredo also expressed her opposition to the privatization of ECs, citing the effects it would have on the Philippine’s rural electrification program and her belief that struggling ECs should be assisted by the government.
The audience applauded when Robredo said:
“Totoo na may mga electric cooperatives na may pinagdadaanan na problema at kadalasan ‘yung problema hindi nanggagaling sa loob, pero ‘yung problema nanggaling sa mga circumstances beyond the control of the electric cooperative. Alam natin ‘yon. Pero ang solusyon noon hindi i-privatize. Ang solusyon noon, tulungan para maging resilient sa mga ganitong mga threats.”
The Vice President pledged to support ECs and to give them a bigger voice in her administration, in keeping with her principle of giving voice to stakeholders before implementing policies.
“Panahon na para ‘yung pinaglalaban ninyo ay bigyan ng mas malakas na boses,” Robredo said, promising that the sector will be given a chance to participate in the policymaking process of the Department of Energy (DOE). [End]