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Sen. Leila M. de Lima on DOE's and NEA's anti-coop policies

PHILIPPINES, February 20 - Press Release February 20, 2022

Dispatch from Crame No. 1,220: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on DOE's and NEA's anti-coop policies


Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and National Electrification Administration (NEA) Chief Emmanuel Juaneza should listen to the electric cooperatives. The latter's complaints on DOE's and NEA's usurpation of electric coop powers to choose their own general managers remain unacted upon by both Cusi and Juaneza, to the point that the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. (PHILRECA) is now already calling for their resignation. It did not have to come to this point.

There is no justification for Cusi's and Juaneza's interference in the affairs of the electric cooperatives, especially in the selection of their general managers. Instead of undermining electric coops, the DOE and NEA should uphold their prerogative to select their own general managers, a prerogative that has been previously recognized by past DOE Secretaries and NEA Chiefs before Cusi and Juaneza ignored them and proceeded to issue orders usurping this power of electric cooperatives.

This effort on the part of DOE and NEA to centralize power and authority over electric cooperatives is anathema to the principles of local community initiative, autonomy, and self-sufficiency upon which the establishment of cooperatives is founded.

There can be no more contradiction of the very reason-for-being of cooperatives than an intrusive and heavy-handed national government and its agencies that view electric cooperatives as their underlings. This perspective of the national government on the nature of electric cooperatives should be reversed now, before it completely destroys the cooperative as an institution with a long-running tradition of reliability in the country. ###

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