Daneco management aims to settle debt to suppliers in 2 years

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TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte — The group formed by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to manage the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Daneco) has promised to settle its P2.1 billion debts to suppliers within the next two years.

NEA project supervisor for Daneco Mario Angelo M. Sotto, in a press conference here Tuesday, said the Task Force Duterte-North Davao Power has been improving operations despite the still unsettled management dispute hounding the power cooperative.

“We will continue to improve the efficiency (of the cooperative),” said Mr. Sotto.

He said Daneco was able to increase its collection efficiency in May to 98% with an income of about P422 million.

The cooperative has 197,880 household connections covering most parts of Davao del Norte and the entire Compostela Valley.

Daneco was in the middle of an administrative controversy between a group of officers that sought accreditation with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and another under NEA.

Both groups were asserting authority over operations, including the collection of monthly fees.

The issue was brought before the courts and in 2014, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the NEA group. The CA issued a final ruling last year, but the CDA-accredited group declined to honor it, bringing the matter to President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

NEA then created the task force.

NEA Administrator Edgardo B. Masongsong said the collection problem has nearly been resolved with “only about 5%” of its consumers still paying the CDA group.

Mr. Masongsong noted local government units, through the mayors and Governors Anthony G. del Rosario of Davao del Norte and Jayvee Tyron L. Uy of Compostela Valley, have been supporting the NEA group.

With the collection efficiency improved, Mr. Masongsong said Daneco is now working at reducing systems loss, which has gone down to 20% from 23% about two years ago.

“I believe the problem of systems loss will go down to the cap (of 13%),” said Mr. Masongsong.

Based on Daneco’s assessment, every 1% systems loss is equivalent to about P4 million in lost revenue.

“We…only want that the people are served. The only way to do it is to have just one entity,” said Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor E. Delola.

Mr. Delola added the Department of Energy is still finalizing its evaluation of the Daneco situation and is planning to talk with the CDA-accredited group. — Carmelito Q. Francisco