Majority of power consumers in Oriental Mindoro choose their rural electric coop to remain non-profit
POSTED: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Despite clamor of some to convert into a ‘truly’ cooperative
CALAPAN CITY – The member-consumers of the Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ORMECO) voted overwhelmingly, with 96% of all the votes casted, to stay with the registration with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) in a province-wide referendum over the weekend.
The referendum was called by NEA and the Department of Energy (DOE) to settle, once and for all, the long running campaign and issue being waged by some local businessmen here to change ORMECO’s registration from NEA to the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), under which the board of directors would have more leeway in doing what they want in the electric cooperative affairs.
Electric coops registered with NEA are subjected to strict performance standards, administrative and financial transparency controls and provided with support services for institutional management strengthening. Under NEA, power coops also receive financing support for systems improvements, missionary electrification, and emergency repairs after natural calamities.
The order for referendum was issue by NEA Administrator Editha S. Bueno last September 30 with conformity of DOE Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla and CDA Chairman Emmanuel Santiaguel. It asked ORMECO member-consumers to choose the cooperative’s registration among NEA, CDA, or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The heavy turnout of 28, 520 consumers based on the official count of the over-all committee showed 96% or 27,400 electric consumers voted to remain with NEA, while 3.4% or 970 wanted to convert ORMECO under CDA, and 0.5% or 150 members wanted to be under SEC.
Prior to this referendum, a group of local businessmen named Movement of Consumer Ownership of ORMECO (MCOO) headed by Engr. Dennis C. Alcancia had been waging a massive campaign to convert ORMECO, Inc. into a stock cooperative. They also campaigned to stop the said referendum.
A former director of the present ORMECO, Inc., Alcancia tried at one point to take over the bank accounts of the said electric cooperative and was sued by ORMECO for the unauthorized use of electric coops in wooing support from the members.( By JUANCHO R. MAHUSAY)