A Day After the 29-hour Forced Blackout of Albay:
Multi-sectoral group holds picket-Rally in front of the ALECO main office
in Legazpi City to oppose the planned privatization of the electric cooperative

 

August 1, 2013

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Picket vs ALECO Privatization, August 1, 2013
Photo by Rico De Mesa Manllo
       

Implement C2C Now and Solve ALECO’s Problem

 

A picket-rally was held on August 1, 2013 in front of ALECO by ALECO Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Organization, Bayan-Bikol, Karapatan, and Bicolana-Gabriela. The group made the following calls:

1.       Publicize the list of top 100 delinquent power users

2.       Oust PS Veronica Briones and the Interim Board

3.       Prosecute the corrupt personnel of ALECO

4.       Trash Private Sector Participation and all forms of privatization

5.       Denounce NEA’s mission to privatize ALECO     

6.       Eject NEA from ALECO

7.       Repeal the Electric Power Industry Reform Act

8.       Implement Cooperative-to-Cooperative Partnership to solve ALECO’s problem

 

If NEA cannot publicize the list, AMSSO and the other mass organizations call on the agency to hand it over to them and they will disseminate. The rallyists also decried the wholesale punishment inflicted by NGCP, PEMC and NEA which hurt irreversibly the innocent and paying member-consumers.
 

The media tried to interview PS Veronica Briones, the NEA-designated head of ALECO management, but the guards barred them from entering the compound.

 

AMSSO

Bayan-Bikol

Karapatan

Bicolana-Gabriela

 

August 1, 2013
 

       
Waiting in the wings to grab ALECO
from the consumer-members and amass superprofits
       
 
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Photos courtesy of Rico De Mesa Manallo
           

 


11th day and decamping of AMSSO Vigil/Rally in front of Aleco. The said Vigil/Rally was aimed to show relentless opposition to illegal privatization of Aleco by the Board and NEA. Closing program was held with the participation of Sectors and Member-Consumers of Aleco like Fr. Raymond Urriza of the redemptorist. The Vigil/Rally may return anytime the organization decides. June 10, 2013 - Photo and caption by Ephraim De Vera
 

     


PRIBATISASYON NG ALECO, TUTULAN, LABANAN!
 

Umaarangkada na ang pagsasapribado sa Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) sa kabila ng mahigipit na pagtutol ng mga miyembro-kunsumedor. Ang tunguhing ito ay naaayon sa layunin ng Electirc Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001. Dahil sa EPIRA, naging ganap ang pagsasapribado sa electric power industry sa bansa mula sa power generation, transmission, at malaking bahagi ng power distribution. Kontrolado ng tatlong (3) malaking pribadong korporasyon ang 52% ng electric power industry – San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Aboitiz, at Lopezes. Ang natitirang bahagi ng power distribution na nasa kontrol ng mga electric cooperatives ay nakatakdang agawin sa kanila ibigay sa mga pribadong korporasyon.

Matatandaang ang industriya sa kuryente dati ay kontrolado ng pampublikong korporasyon ang National Power Coropration (NAPOCOR). Layunin di-umao ng EPIRA ayon sa mga proponent nito ay dalawa: mabayaran ng NAPOCOR ang mga utang nito at mapababa ang singil sa kuryente sa bansa. Subalit 10 taon matapos maisabatas ang EPIRA , ang utang na NAPOCOR noong 2010 ay nanatiling $15.8 Billion mula sa $16.4 Billion noong 2001 bagama’t nakapagbyad na ito ng umabot sa $18Billion! Ang singil sa kuryente sa bansa ay pinakamataas sa buong Asya.

Layunin ng EPIRA na ganap na mapasailalim sa kontrol ng mga pribadong korporasyon ang distribution utilities na hawak ng mga electric power cooperatives . Sadyang inilulugmok ang mga kooperatibang ito sa utang dahil sa corruption at mismanagement upang di na makabangon at walang nang ibang natitirang option kundi ang isapribado ito.

Ang tangkang pagpapasailalim sa ALECO sa kontrol ng mga pribadong korporasyon ay ilang taon na ring isinasagawa. Ginagamit na dahilan ang utang ng ALECO. Di nga lang ito nagtatagumpay dahil sa mahigpit na pagtutol ng mga miyembro-kunsumedor. Pursigido ngayon ang pamahalaang Aquino na ilagay sa kontrol ng mga pribadong korporasyon ang ALECO dahil di mabayarang utang nito na umaabot na sa P3.7 Billion . Ito ang sadyang misyon ng National Electrification Administration (NEA). Upang mapabilis ang prosesong ito, inilagay ng NEA si Atty. Briones bilang OIC project supervisor ng ALECO. Ang tumatayong Interim Board ngayon ng ALECO ay nagiging sunud-sunuran sa kagustuhan ng NEA at ni Atty. Briones.

Sa ginanap na Special General membership Assembly (SGMA) ng ALECO noong Nobyembre 30, 2011, tinanggihan ng mga miyembro-kunsumedores ang ‘Private Sector Partnership (PSP) parameters bilang option sa problema kan ALECO dahil ayaw ng mga member-consumers na isapribado ang kooperatiba. Mas pinaboran ng mga member-consumers ang “Coop-to-Coop” option.

Sa pakikipag-usap ng multi-sectoral stakeholders’ sa Interim Board, pumayag ito sa Coop-to-Coop option na bigyan ito ng kahit isang (1) taon upang subukin sa ALECo. Subalit, noong Pebrero 2013, ibinasura nito ang Coop-to-Coop option at pinaboran ang PSP option. At noong Abril 1, 2013, naglabas ang ALECO management ng paid ads sa PDI tungkol sa “Invitation To Bid” para sa interesadong konsesyunaryo sa ALECO. Ang proseso ng bidding upang ipasaialim sa kontrol ng pribadong korporasyon ang ALECO sa loob ng 25 taon ay nagsimula na. Kapay naisapribado na ang ALECO, di na mapipigilan ang pagtaas ng singil sa kuryente.


Ibasura ng EPIRA

Pribasitasyon ng ALECO, tutulan, labanan!
Coop-to-Coop option sa ALECO itaguyod! (?)
Isabansa industriya sa kuryente!
Palayasin ang ALECO Interim Board!
Palayasin si Atty. Briones!
Palayasin ang NEA sa ALECO!
 

     
           
     
     
     
     

 

Virgilio S. Perdigon:
"Bicol asks government to come to its senses and realize that liberalization, deregulation and privatization maneuvers have wreaked havoc on the lives of good citizens. Government has betrayed the people's trust by reneging on its mandate to protect the people's welfare. It is not government's mandate to secure profits for private companies and billionaire friends of those elected to high posts."

 

We Never Deserved That Punishment
by Engr. Virgilio S Perdigon Jr

We never deserved that punishment, the disconnection of Albay from the power grid from 12 noon on July 30 to 5:00 pm on July 31. It was an ordeal to which we were unfairly subjected. We, the well-paying conscientious member-consumers of ALECO, merit a better treatment from NGCP, PEMC and NEA than that wholesale deprivation of energy which we Albayanos own in the first place.

It was like a carpet bombing imposed on Albay simply because the lords of the three entities wanted to crush those who would not pay even if it meant hurting the innocent as collateral damage. It was like dropping the atomic bomb on our province simply because NGCP, PEMC and NEA want to kill some rats.

If they expect us to say thanks for restoring power, they are naively mistaken. Instead, NGCP, PEMC and NEA should apologize to the hundreds of thousands of Albayanos who did them no wrong but whom they unscrupulously made to suffer.

They knew even before that those who do not pay their bills should be made to bear the dire consequences. Still, the three entities bullheadedly went ahead with the disconnection. It was a grievous mistake. No, it was a terrible crime and they deserve Albay’s condemnation. If the President says that his bosses are the law-abiding bill-paying citizens, then heads should roll in NGCP, PEMC and NEA. They do not know justice. All they know is profiting at all cost even if that means making the innocent suffer.

Albayanos will never forget July 30 and 31. We will collect our dues one way or another!

 

     
           
     
     

 

 

Albay is Groping in the Dark Tonight
by: Engr. Virgilio S Perdigon Jr

We are the geothermal energy capital of the Philippines. We produce more electricity than we need. But tonight, Albay is the darkest province in the whole country. The minions of the dark, the architects of liberalization, advocates of unbridled free enterprise, and the schemers of privatization must be grinning with infernal delight as the ordinary Albayano prepares his family dinner.


This is inexplicably unjust. The ordinary consumer paid his monthly electric bill but he is suffering from the deed of NGCP, PEMC and NEA.
 

This is absurd. Albay gave the Luzon grid P103 billion worth of electricity. On account of some P974 million debt to PEMC, Albay does not benefit from its own geothermal energy.
 

This is an act of terrorism. The terrorist inflicts pain on the innocent to gain some leverage against it opponent. This is just what NGCP, PEMC and NEA have done – depriving those who religiously pay their bills in order to twist the arm of ALECO to succumb to PSP.
 

This is an act of economic sabotage – a crime whose penalty is death or life sentence. Albay holds 48% of Bicol’s economy. Every hour without electricity causes the loss of millions of pesos in unaccomplished production, distribution, consumption, exportation and importation.
 

This is Albay tonight. We are informing the world through what is left of our batteries. In a few moments we too will fall silent. We ask the reader of our message to support us in this struggle. We will not go down quietly. We will vent our rage even in the midst of this dark and rainsoaked night!

 


 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

NOT MENTIONED IN THE POWER CUT-OFF ISSUE:
ALECO GOT P126 MILLION AID FROM CONSUMERS IN 2012
and on to 2013, 2014
by Ramon Ramirez

I was able to attend a General Membership Assembly on November 14, 2011 of the ALECO member-consumers at the Bicol Colleges Gymnasium where the members voluntarily offered an additional P1.0611 per kilowatt-hour in monthly power consumption for three consecutive years starting January 2012. This was the special payment arrangements (SPA) to help ALECO pay its debt.

"The Special Payment Arrangement was proffered by the Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Coalition [MSSC] as a strong alternative to private sector participation [PSP], the SPA was approved. Although, majority members of the Interim Board does not support the SPA initiatives and prefers private investors to pour money into Aleco."

The irony of this voluntary assistance by consumers, mostly ordinary households, to ALECO for 2012, 2013, 2014 is not lost to the consumers themselves yesterday and today when they were punished by witholding electricity from them.

And government officials talk as if the consumer themselves have not been helping ALECO. Thus, we have Sec. Petilla saying:"The entire ALECO is owned by everybody, kung may isang kriminal na di nagbabayd at di mo sinumbong o pinansin, madadamay ka."

Secretary, saan ka nakakita ng isang coop na ang mga miembro nila mismo ay nagvolunteer na magbigay ng P1.0611 per kwhr sa loob ng 3 taon (o P126 million per year) para tulungan ang kanilang ALECO coop? Tapos, pinutulan mo pa ng kuryente at pinarusahan at sinisisi mo ba gayung biktima na nga sila.

Read full report on  here:
http://sorgexaminer.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=310%3Aailing-albay-power-coop-gets-p126m-aid-from-consumers&catid=36%3Alatest-top-stories-alias&Itemid=44

 


 

     
     
CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE PRIVATIZATION OF ALECO
JUNE-JULY, 2013
Photos and captions by Ephraim de Vera
     

4th ALECO Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Organization (AMSSO)
 picket at Aleco Main Office, Legazpi City, April 15, 2013
           
     


Aquinas University of Legazpi City supports the campaign against ALECO Privatization. Thank you very much.. Please SHARE as much as we can
 


 
     
     




Press Statement
Reference: Dan Balucio
April 15, 2013


NEA PURSUES ALECO SALE-OUT!

The Pre-Bid Conference scheduled today for private corporations interested to invest in the Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) by concessions is tacit proof of how hell-bent the National Electrification Administration (NEA) is in its bid to complete the privatization of electric cooperative in Albay. This blatant and appalling action of NEA is a direct affront to ALECO members-consumers and roughshods their rights who in November 30, 2011 in a Special General Membership Assembly (SGMA) rejected the Private Sector Participation (PSP) parameters and approved the Coop-to-Coop as the viable option to effect the turn-around of ALECO.

The public should know that the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 completed the privatization of electric power industry in the country from power generation, transmission, and to the large extent, distribution. About fifty two percent (52%) of the power industry is controlled by three(3) big private corporations – San Miguel Corporation(SMC), the Aboitiz, and the Lopezes.

In the past, the electric power industry was a public monopoly through the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR). The EPIRA Law caused the privatization of the industry. Proponents of EPIRA Law argued then that privatization will help NAPOCOR pay its huge debts and electric power rates will become cheaper because of competition. Amidst the people’s strong opposition while this laws was still pending in Congress, the US-Arroyo regime railroaded its passage.
 

 

 


After ten (10) years of implementation of EPIRA Law, this stature is a dismal failure. NAPOCOR’s debt in 2001 amounting to $16.4 B remains big at $15.8 B in 2010 despite NAPOCOR’s debt service payment of $18 B. The electric power rate in the Philippines is the highest in Asia.

The outstanding debt of ALECO amounting to P3.7 B is not the fault of the members-consumers; rather, it is the result of corruption and mismanagement. ALECO is the sole power distribution utility in Albay so there is no reason for it to become heavily ridden in debted except for the reasons above cited. The indebtedness and near bankruptcy of ALECO is systematically designed to render all other option untenable expect privatization.

The US-Aquino regime ins exerting all-out efforts to place ALECO under the control of private corporations as intended by EPIRA Law. This, NEA ‘s intervention in the affairs of the electric cooperative is purposive. To fast track the process, NEA appointed Atty. Briones as ALECO’s project supervisor. ALECO Interim Board of Director yielded to the pressure of NEA, dismissed the Coop-to-Coop option and adopted the PSP parameters.

The PSP parameters will pave the way for the wholesale of ALECO. Members-consumers will loss control over ALECO and will cause the electric power rate to soar high. Badly affected will be the low-end consumers. PSP as an option for ALECO regressiove and anti-poor. Let us join our efforts to oppose ALECO privatization and frustrate the private sector participation option. let us fight for cheapest electric power rates for all Albayanos.

REPEAL EPIRA LAW!
OPPOSE THE PSP OPTION!
ADVANCE THE STRUGGLE FOR NATIONALIZATION OF EELCTRIC POWER INDUSTRY
NO TO ALECO PRIVATIZATION!

 


Read online news here
 
 
==          
     


Aquinas University supports the Multi Sectoral campaign against ALECO Privatization.
 
     
           

 

IRONY OF IRONIES
by Ramon Ramirez

 

Albay produces a huge amount of electricity and sends out most of them to Luzon.
 

But since noon yesterday, power to the people of Albay has been cut off. And so hundreds of thousands of homes, schools, hospitals, offices, buildings are back to the dark ages.

And we have this news on views of Jericho Petilla, Secretary of the Department of Energy and Chair of the PEMC which ordered the Albay BlackOut:
--------------
Petilla defended the move to cut off Albay's power, saying this must be done to prevent the debts from ballooning.

Asked how long will the power interruption will last, Petilla said he doesn't know.

Petilla said President Aquino has known about the disconnection as early as two weeks ago but there was no instruction to stop it.

To the residents of Albay, Petill has this message: "The entire Aleco is owned by everybody, kung may isang kriminal na di nagbabayad at di mo sinumbong o pinansin, madadamay ka."
-----------------






July 3, meeting with DOE Sec Petilla. From right, Atty Bartolome Rayco (AMSSO President), Prof Rowaldo Del Mundo of UP-NEC and Mr. Jushua Mata (Secretary General of Alliance of Progressive Labor
 

 


BENECO in ALECO June 11, 2013, to complete the customization and fine tuning of the donated Meter Reading, Billing and Collection System. We are very thankful of the unwavering support of BENECO to ALECO.. BENECO MIS Div Chief Delfin Cachin (far right) and BENECO Programmer Paul Donaal (third from right)
 
     


BENECO donated Point of Sale system being used by ALECO Tellers
to improve the Collection Efficiency and services.

 
           
     


July 25, 2013, AMSSO, APL and ALEO meeting with Mayor Noel Rosal of Legazpi City.
 

     
           

Save ALECO activities: Province wide posting of anti-privatization posters

Signature Campaign against ALECO Privatization at the Multi Sectoral Vigil/Rally in front of ALECO HQ, Legazpi City.

           
BRIEF HISTORY OF ALECO
by Pablo Vicente Casilihan

Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco) is the first electric cooperative organized in the Bicol region in 1972 for the primary purpose of undertaking power generation, utilizing renewable energy sources, acquisition and operation of sub-transmission or distribution of electricity services to its household members.

Aleco has thrice been under the direct management of National Electrification Administration (NEA) for more than a decade that ended in 2006. In 2008, Aleco forged another “operation and maintenance” (O & M) contract with the National Power Corp (NAPOCOR) for one year upon recommendation of Albay Gov. Joey Salceda to then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in his bid to save the ailing cooperative, then on February 22, 2010 – Albay Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ALECO) is under the Operation and Management Contract of the National Power Corporation (2009) but it was arbitrarily terminated by the Board of Director, despite of the recorded positive changes of operation.

April 23, 2010 – The Diocese of Legazpi Chancery issued a PASTORAL BULLETIN No. 02, Series of 2010, calling for the ALECO Board of Directors and the Politicians to decide for the welfare of the Albayanos, the transparency and accountability and ensure the cooperative status of ALECO.

July 14, 2010 – formation of the ALECO Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Organization (AMSSO).

February 10, 2011 – NEA PS/AGM Paulino T. Lopez take over the ALECO operation and management. The ALECO debts to PEMC already ballooned to 974 Million Pesos in less than a year due to WESM spike, rampant corruptions and mismanagement that was captured in the NEA Audit report. His accomplishment is the 22% system loss became 25% in his one year term and accumulated an additional debt from the current power purchases.

February 11, 2011 - Due to intensified media campaign and mass rallies by the consumer group like the AMSSO, the ALECO Board of Director was forced to resign.

September 3, 2011 - Introduction of the Coop to Coop Partnership Proposal (C2C), a turn-around program for ALECO which was written by Prof Rowaldo de Mundo of the University of the Philippines, National Engineering Centre, to the Stakeholders Forum. The Albay Congressmen are present, the business sector and media.

November 30, 2011 – The ALECO SGMA rejected the Private Sector Participation Parameters.

January 2012 – The Diocese of Legazpi Chancery issued a PASTORAL BULLETIN No. 01, Series of 2012. Titled Renewal, Reform and Rehabilitation – A Pastoral Letter on the Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) which called for; 1. The welfare of Albayanos is the first priority. 2. The preservation of our cooperative nature is our preferred position. 3. Obligations should be acknowledged and settled. 4. Transparency and accountability need to be ensured in the service of truth and justice, and; 5. Real rehabilitation will be realized only through meaningful reforms.
 

July 16, 2012 – PS Lopez was recalled to NEA Head Office and was replaced by PS Veronica Briones with a concurrent capacity of General Manager of Camarines Sur Electric Cooperative 4, Inc.

February 1, 2013 – During the Interim Board meeting NEA railroaded the Private Sector Participation and under pressure of PEMC disconnection NEA threatened to pull out of ALECO if the Board pursue with the C2C. PS Briones said that NEA’s stand is for PSP. NEA methodically scrapped the C2C Proposal even if it was already completed. NEA should put it in black and white if they want to remove the C2C program, Dir. Villalon said, but PS Veronica Briones answered that the Board should decide that matter.

Before this Man Made Disaster happen Aleco was categorized as an effective electricity distribution facility in the 1972-1994 period. The cooperative’s debts started ballooning in 1994 when under NEA management, Aleco I, II and III were merged into one operation.

The public should know that the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 completed the privatization of electric power industry in the country from power generation, transmission, and to the large extent, distribution. About fifty two percent (52%) of the power industry is controlled by three(3) big private corporations – San Miguel Corporation(SMC), the Aboitiz, and the Lopezes. 

In the past, the electric power industry was a public monopoly through the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR). The EPIRA Law caused the privatization of the industry. Proponents of EPIRA Law argued then that privatization will help NAPOCOR pay its huge debts and electric power rates will become cheaper because of competition. Amidst the people’s strong opposition while this laws was still pending in Congress, the US-Arroyo regime railroaded its passage.

After ten (10) years of implementation of EPIRA Law, this stature is a dismal failure. NAPOCOR’s debt in 2001 amounting to $16.4 B remains big at $15.8 B in 2010 despite NAPOCOR’s debt service payment of $18 B. The electric power rate in the Philippines is the highest in Asia. 

The outstanding debt of ALECO amounting to P3.7 B is not the fault of the members-consumers; rather, it is the result of corruption and mismanagement. ALECO is the sole power distribution utility in Albay so there is no reason for it to become heavily ridden in debted except for the reasons above cited. The indebtedness and near bankruptcy of ALECO is systematically designed to render all other option untenable expect privatization.

The US-Aquino regime ins exerting all-out efforts to place ALECO under the control of private corporations as intended by EPIRA Law. This, NEA ‘s intervention in the affairs of the electric cooperative is purposive. To fast track the process, NEA appointed Atty. Briones as ALECO’s project supervisor. ALECO Interim Board of Director yielded to the pressure of NEA, dismissed the Coop-to-Coop option and adopted the PSP parameters.

The PSP parameters will pave the way for the wholesale of ALECO. Members-consumers will loss control over ALECO and will cause the electric power rate to soar high. Badly affected will be the low-end consumers. PSP as an option for ALECO regressiove and anti-poor. Let us join our efforts to oppose ALECO privatization and frustrate the private sector participation option. let us fight for cheapest electric power rates for all Albayanos.

REPEAL EPIRA LAW!
OPPOSE THE PSP OPTION!
ADVANCE THE STRUGGLE FOR NATIONALIZATION OF EELCTRIC POWER INDUSTRY
NO TO ALECO PRIVATIZATION!
           
           
           

 

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