The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) wants to empower its member-consumers owners (MCOs) by establishing sectoral representatives from barangay to municipality levels to be engaged in its affairs.

Napoleon Cortes Jr., Human Resource Department & Administration Manager, said during the second quarter press conference on Tuesday, July 6, that the electric cooperative is establishing the Member-Consumer Owner Program for Empowerment (MCOPE) as mandated by National Electrification Administration (NEA) Memorandum No. 2019-044 issued on July 31, 2019.

The memorandum stated that there is a need to protect the rights and interests of MCOs and allow them to participate in programs and activities of the electric cooperative.

“First, it should be organized in barangay level. Layunin nito na bawat barangay ay i-organize ang MCOO o member-consumer owner organization per barangay. Sa buong Palawan ay io-organize natin ‘yong organization ng MCO sa barangay levels at sila ay i-inform at i-educate by giving them appropriate training and information,” Cortez said.

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The MCOs will be involved in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs of PALECO and other activities through the MCOPE.

All MCOs in every barangay will be members of MCO organization or MCOO wherein election will be conducted to choose its chair, vice-chair, secretary, and treasurer per barangay level.

There must also be sectoral leaders of senior citizens, civic, agro-fishery, youth, women, education, religious, business, indigenous people, and labor that will be selected in every barangay, PALECO added.

Elected chairpersons from each barangay will participate to elect officials in district MCOOs and followed by another election to form the electric cooperative-wide MCOO.

The MCOOs may get involved in electric cooperative’s program and activities through the campaign for sitio electrification and household connections; campaign for non-pilferage of electricity; campaign for the improvement of collection and other services that can be downloaded to MCOOs; serve notice of disconnection; help secure right-of-way; and provide line clearing services.

They may also participate in public hearings and consultations conducted by NEA, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Department of Energy DoE and other government agencies and electric cooperative allied organizations.

MCOOs are also allowed to observe through the chairman of the electric cooperative-wide MCOO in the conduct of bidding, competitive selection process (CSP), and board meetings. The MCOO qualified nominee may also be recommended for the vacant position in the PALECO board of directors.

Information officer Claire Guludah said the involvement of MCOs will be helpful to the services of the electric cooperative. PALECO has already visited 47 barangays for the MCOPE and is continuously working in different districts, she added.

“Gaya ng lagi namin sinasabi na ang consumer, pupunta ka lang sa PALECO kung magbabayad o kaya magrireklamo matapos ka makabitan ng kuryente. Pero kung ikaw ay empowered bilang member-consumer owner at ikaw ay isang sectoral representative, halimbawa ng kababaihan, you’ll feel responsible sa nangyayari sa ating kooperatiba,” she said.

“Lagi natin nakakalimutan na tayo ay bahagi ng Palawan Electric Cooperative, akala natin na matapos tayo makabitan, basta nagbabayad tayo ng kuryente, meron na tayong responsibilidad para murahin, kapag halimbawa ay nagba-brownout, ang ating PALECO. Iyon pala ay may kadahilanan na tatlo kung bakit tayo nawawalan ng kuryente,” she added.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.