The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) has found allies among several members of the provincial board over the national government’s plan to take over the cooperative.
In a privilege speech Tuesday, Board Member Albert Rama questioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to effect a government takeover of the cooperative, pointing out that such is not a solution to the province’s power woes.
“The current management of PALECO is with the government. What is the plan of the government? Is it to facilitate the transfer of Paleco to a private company or to explore avenues or skills to help or complement PALECO,” Rama said.
Rama pointed out that PALECO is only a distributor of electricity and that power generation is beyond its control and is regulated by different national government agencies. He pointed out that there are varying roles of oversight performed by agencies, including the National Electrification Administration (NEA), Department of Energy (DOE), the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and Energy Regulatory Commission (NEA).
“The operation of PALECO is being regulated by various government agencies and they have to comply with the policies of DENR, DPWH and LGUs in maintaining the distribution system,” Rama said.
“These regulatory government agencies serve as the watchdog of the government. What do these agencies do to help Paleco?” he added.
Rama also claimed that President Duterte was not adequately informed about the situation of PALECO.
“We cannot let things happen without lifting our fingers, to have accurate and reliable information that will guide us to make informed decisions for the betterment of the power situation in the province of Palawan,” Rama said.
Earlier, PALECO board chair Jeffrey Tan-Endriga also said they have not received any communication from Malacañang or the DOE about the government’s takeover plan.
“Walang mangyayaring ganoon dahil maipapakita natin dito ‘yong ating performance upang manatili ang ating kooperatiba,” Endriga said during the press conference on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a source told Palawan News that at least two other board members have expressed agreement with Rama’s stance on the controversy.