The Continuing Saga of Resisting the Privatization

of the Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO)
--- Part I ---

 

 January 7, 2014

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Photos by Rico De Mesa Manallo
           
     


Fr. Alex Bercasio and Atty. Duna Escio (NUPL), acting as negotiating officers and quick response team members, were pushed by police officers and security guards and were almost pinned to the gate during the commotion. Fr. Alex and several others were pinned for more than one hour at arounf 3pm.
 

     

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Ang Pananakop ng San Miguel sa ALECO ay Kontra sa Interes ng Albay

Ang San Miguel Corporation ay kasalukuyangsinasakop ang ALECO nang walang legal at moral nabatayan. Pagtago sa Concession Agreement, pagtanggal sa mga empleyadong matitino habang pinapanatili ang mga tiwali, pagtaas sa presyo ng kuryente at pagsagawa ng pekeng public hearing, pagsingil sa mga konsumongmatagal nang binayaran ng mga konsumidor, at pagpatupad ng matagalang brownout sa mga bayan ng Albay. Ito ang mga pinakahulinghakbang ng lumang manihamyento ng ALECO at San Miguel sa kanilang pagsasapribado sa kooperatiba.

Ang San Miguel ay naglalawaynamakamkam ang ALECO dahilsigurado ang kanilang kita dito at makakaambag ang kooperatiba sa pagbayad sa limangbilyongdolyar ($5 billion) na utang ng SMC sa 5 bangko sa Amerika.

Ang lumang manihamyento ay payagsa pagsasapribado dahilmatatakpan na ang kanilang korupsyon at mananatili pa sila sa tinatawagnilang “residual ALECO.” Ang mga pulitiko ay pabor din sa pagsasapribado dahilmatatakpan din ang kanilang korupsyon sa ALECO. Ang lumang IBOD ay walangkakayahangibangon ang kooperatiba kaya tanging ang pagpasa ng suliraninsapribadongkumpanya ang kanilang solusyon.

Ang referendum noongSetyembre 14, 2013 ay sapagitan ng C2C at PSP. Walangkinalamandoon ang pagpili sa San Miguel bilang concessionaire bukod pa sa lantarangpamimili ng boto, paglipat sa mga voting centers,paghakot ng mga botanteat paggamit sa mga rekurso ng pamahalaan. Kahit ito ay produkto ng pandaraya, ang pagpirmasa concession Agreement ay binasbasan pa ng Obispo ng Legazpi. Sakabila ng mga nakaambangpanganib sa mga Albyano at maanumalyangproseso, ang Gobernador ay nagpahayag pa na kanyangsinusuportahan ang pagsasapribado ng ALECO. Ang karamihan ng mga mayor at punong barangay ay sunud-sunuransaGobernador.

Sa ganitongkalagayan, wala nang maaasahan pa ang mga Albayano kundi ang kanilang sarilinglakasupangpigilan ang 25 hanggang 50 taongpananamantalang San MiguelCorporation. Kaya saaraw na ito, kaming mga konsumidor ay binabawi ang ALECO. Konsumidor ang may-arinito kaya konsumidor din ang dapat masunod kungpaanoibabangon ang kooperatiba.

Mga Miyembro-Konsumidor ng ALECO
Enero 6, 2014
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Update on Albay Electric Cooperative
by Virgilio Perdigon

For the second time, member-consumers stormed the compound of Albay Electric Cooperative. The event started at 9:50 am today, January 6. The member-consumers numbered around 100. Anti-riot police arrived but were rebuffed by striking ALECO employees, citing the law that prevents the former from coing within 50 meters of a strike. The police withdrew but remained within 50 meters. A few minutes before noon, the police interfered again, this time pushing member-consumers and strikers. As of this time, a physical struggle for control of the gate is underwway.
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Update on Albay Electric Cooperative
by Duna Gee

Jan 6 2014 Albay Electric Cooperative member consumers showed its force this morning by storming inside the ALECO premises to oppose privatization and turnover of the coop to SMEC.

To date, the SMEC did not comply with the terms of reference and failed to show the concession agreement allegedly signed in august 2013 despite requests from stakeholders. Today, pending strike of ALECO labor employees association (ALEO), around 12 police officers armed with truncheons approached the group within 50m from the picketline.

Early this afternoon, ALECO guards and police officers attempt to close ALECO gate maintained open by ALECO Member consumers and ALEO. This attempt was resisted by the group which resulted to the policemen justifying their presence within 50m from the picketline. After less than an hour, additional 12 police officers arrived as their reinforcement.

When one side of the gate was closed, Fr. Alex Bercasio, Tessa Lopez, and three others were pinned to the gate between guards and police officers.

December last year, ALECO also applied for rate hikes without notice and consultation. At this time, some member consumers are still inside ALECO premises asserting their right as owners of the same (including Atty Regala, Atty Rayco, and me) and will continue to stay there until the concession agreement is produced and reviewed by member consumers. ( i was one of those hurt this afternoon while negotiating when police officers pushed me with truncheons.)

SMEC appears as the only bidder with a bid not compliant with the terms of reference that the pro PSP IBOD themselves drafted. Despite a concession agreement was signed without disclosing the contents of tge same.
 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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Background and Status of ALECO

 

Background

 

Albay has had electricity since the turn of the 20th Century. Evidence of this are photographs taken during the early days of the American Period.

 

1950’s – 1975: LEALDA (Legazpi Albay Daraga) Electric Company served Legazpi Port District, Albay District, and Daraga; it was owned by the Benito family; electricity was expensive for the ordinary household could afford only a fluorescent lamp; after a typhoon it took months before service was totally restored

 

1972 – Albay Electric Cooperative was established in the Third District

 

1975 – President Marcos visited Albay; the people shouted, “We want electricity!” LEALDA was abolished; ALECO was established as the sole provider in the entire province

 

1972 – 94: ALECO was well-managed and had no serious problem

 

1994: influential entities and persons started to interfere in ALECO affairs; ALECO’s woes began; corruption became rampant

 

2000’s: ALECO problems worsened; debts mounted; Legazpi Diocese was asked to get engaged; NEA and NPC alternately managed ALECO; corruption and crisis continued to hound ALECO

 

July 17, 2008: Operation and Management Contract with NPC was approved by ALECO Board of Directors; losses for 2008 declined to P261 M from P401 M in 2007

July 2009: the OM Contract was renewed by the DOE*; ALECO posted a positive P153 M net income

 

November 13, 2009: the DOE, NEA and the Office of the Solicitor-General endorsed to NPC the re-extension of the contract through Resolution No. 65; NPC, in turn, approved the re-extension for two years through Resolution 2009-68

 

February 22, 2010: OM Contract was suddenly terminated by ALECO BOD, citing that it had expired and NPC assets had passed to PSALM

 

April 23, 2010: Bishop Joel Z. Baylon issued Pastoral Letter against privatization

 

July 28, 2010: public forum on ALECO crisis organized by Social Action Center, ALEO, and other stakeholders; inspired by the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, civil society groups led by SAC organized the Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Committee which later evolved into the Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Coalition and ALECO Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Organization (AMSSO); on January 23, 2013 AMSSO was registered with SEC on the advice of Bishop Baylon

 

September 2010: MSSC convened a General Assembly of member-consumers; resolution calling for resignation of OIC Realoza and BOD was passed, among others

 

October 2010: Crisis Committee was formed by political leaders; Bishop Baylon was invited to be Chairman

 

October 2010 to January 2011: campaign to oust ALECO Management Team and BOD intensified; march and picket staged by MSSC

 

February 2011:  Realoza and BOD resigned; NEA sent its Management Team under PS Paulino Lopez

 

March 2011: MSSC proposed restoration of OM Contract with NPC; DOE declined

 

May 14, 2011: NEA proposed the Special Payment Arrangement; Special General Membership Assembly approved

 

June 2011: NEA added 3 conditions to SPA (voluntary payment, P7M monthly prudential guarantee, default provision)

 

October 2011: NEA Management Team cited inability to solve ALECO problems; MSSC accidentally met Prof. Rowaldo del Mundo and Prof. Editha Espos of UP-NEC and Engr. Gerardo Versoza, GM of BENECO; Cooperative-to-Cooperative Partnership was designed

 

November 2011: Crisis Committee, NEA and DOE proposed Private Sector Participation and formation of Interim Board

 

November 30, 2011 – in a Special General Membership Assembly NEA and Crisis Committee allowed PSP to be presented; when it was the turn of MSSC to present C2C, the Crisis Committee requested the emcee to let Congressmen Fernando Gonzalez and Edcel Lagman talk in favor of PSP; after their speeches, C2C was brushed aside and a vote on PSP and formation of an Interim Board was rushed; the assembly rejected PSP and Interim Board by a vote of 315 vs 155

 

December 10, 2011 - the MSSC met with Bishop Baylon; public presentation of C2C was agreed upon

 

December 22, 2011 – public presentation of C2C was held in De Guzman Hall of Aquinas University; present were Bishop Baylon, Prof. Wally del Mundo of UP-NEC, Engr. Gerry Versoza and Engr. Lito Villarey of BENECO

 

March 24, 2012 – a Special General Membership Assembly approved the conversion of the Crisis Committee into the Interim Board of Directors (IBOD); the participants were separated among Tabaco, Legazpi and Ligao; in Legazpi the IBOD was given the mandate to look for “solutions” to ALECO’s problems; in Ligao and Tabaco, only the conversion of the Crisis Committee into an Interim Board was approved; IBOD began to claim it is authorized to implement PSP

 

December 2012 to January 2013: with no private company coming forward to propose, the IBOD agreed to implement Cooperative-to-Cooperative Partnership; DBP offered to lend P 1 billion at 8% interest; PEMC counter-offered with 2.5%; the IBOD turned down DBP; when the IBOD tried to formalize an agreement with PEMC, the latter backed out; the IBOD returned to DBP but the bank refused

 

February 1, 2013: in a meeting, PS Veronica Briones announced that if the IBOD would choose C2C, NEA would leave ALECO because the agency wants PSP; the IBOD voted unanimously to adopt PSP (evidence: minutes of the IBOD meeting)

 

April 4, 2013:  in a press conference, the IBOD announced its decision to adopt PSP

 

May 2013: the AMSSO, formerly the MSSC, filed a petition for TRO against the implementation of PSP; it was granted; the AMSSO filed a Motion for Prohibition to Bid; decision on the case was so delayed it was overtaken by events

 

July 16, 2013: AMSSO, IBOD and other parties held a meeting with DOE Sec. Jericho Petilla; a referendum was agreed upon to settle which between C2C and PSP to adopt; referendum is not a mechanism for decision-making under the ALECO By-Laws

 

August 7, 2013 – the IBOD and NEA scheduled a Submission and Opening of Bids; only one bidder submitted, San Miguel Energy Corporation; the bid of San Miguel did not comply with the Terms of Reference which the pro-PSP themselves drafted. There was failure of bidding because only one presented a bid and that lone bidder has conflict of interest with ALECO since SMEC is a sister company of the Bank of Commerce which is a depository of the electric cooperative

 

August 15, 2013: Sec Petilla visited Albay ; a roadshow of the two option was scheduled from September 2 to 7, 2013; during the roadshow for the referendum, the content of the contract with the lone bidder, San Miguel Global Power Holdings, was never revealed to the member-consumers; on Day One of the roadshow for the referendum PSP had scanty details. As the activity progressed, PSP was increasingly copied from the Cooperative-to-Cooperative Partnership plan until on the last day, the former option looked almost like C2C, with BENECO removed and put in its place was San Miguel Corporation. The irremovable fact is that BENECO would give all earnings to ALECO while SMC would have to get its cut. Furthermore, under PSP copied from C2C, San Miguel has all the power to declare just what it wants as ALECO earnings even zero or negative

 

September 14, 2013: only 4.8% of the member-consumers turned out to vote on while the legal requirement for any corporation is 5%; there was massive vote-buying amounting to P20, P50 and P150 perpetrated by pro-PSP politicians especially among the members of barangay power associations (BAPA). Pro-PSP voters were hauled. Voting centers were relocated to necessitate travel by member-consumers. ALECO funds, barangay vehicles and other government resources were used in favor of PSP; a Redemptory’s priest, among others, saw and testifies to these evil acts; NEA obliges any complainant to pay P750,000 as a fee and the pro-C2C do not have such money.

 

September 23, 2013: ALECO Employees Organization (ALEO) pushed through with the long-suspended strike

 

October 29, 2013: the IBOD, NEA, DOE, politicians and San Miguel proceeded to sign a contract in Makati without submitting the same for prior ratification by the General Assembly, claiming that the referendum result sufficed; the contract has the blessing of the Bishop of Legazpi even though it is a fruit of dishonesty

 

November 28, 2013: The ERC held a public hearing on the petition of ALECO Management for a rate increase effective January 2014. Thus, we have another evidence of deception. As we heard during the presentation, the plan to apply for the increase was in place as of June 2013. Yet, the PSP presenters had the gall to tell the public that there would be no rate increase! The member-consumers were not effectively informed about the “public hearing” as only 7 were able to attend.

December 21, 2013: About 100 member-consumers rushed into the compound of ALECO, conducted a General Assembly and elected a new Interim Board of Directors

 

December 23, 2013: ALECO old management closed ALECO and prevented member-consumers from paying their bills. Payment resumed on the 24th.

 

December 26, 2013: AMSSO padlocked the gate. Security guards attempted to remove the chain but were driven off by member-consumers.

 

December 28, 2013: The new IBOD and PS Veronic Briones agreed to prevent San Miguel personnel from entering the ALECO compound and to provide AMSSO with a copy of the Concession Agreement. AMSSO will allow opening of the gate. PS Briones admitted that the agreement is different from the claims made during the roadshow prior to the referendum. The agreement was never honored by the old management.

 

January  6, 2014: member-consumers stormed the compound of ALECO a second time. They demanded that San Miguel personnel be prevented from entering the premises of the cooperative and a copy of the Concession Agreement be provided to member-consumers.

 

     Status

 

ALECO is still on strike.

 

San Miguel Corporation is taking over ALECO Management. The seal of the cooperative was removed from the façade. The advocates of ALECO privatization are proceeding with their scheme roughshod and without any semblance of delicadeza. Member-consumers are being asked to pay for consumption already paid for in previous months and year unless they show old receipts. They are told to fill up data forms to reconstruct the records of the cooperative. This, however, is a mere attempt to seek legitimacy because SMC did not seek General Membership ratification of the contract. A 14-hour brownout is being rotated among the feeders of ALECO. Refrigerator contents have been spoiled, business has slowed down, ICU patients have to be manually assisted. Platelet stocks are damaged.

 

It is very urgent to stop the privatization of ALECO and assert the implementation of C2C as the pro-people, pro-Albayano solution to ALECO’s problems. The member-consumers will decide what is best for their cooperative.

 

 ALECO Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Organization

January 6, 2014 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
Si Fr. Alex ang isa sa mga naipit at nasaktan kanina nang puwersahang
isinara ang gate ng ALECO ng mga guards at police officers
           
     
     
     

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Vince Casilihan:
Paglalakbay papuntang ALECO

Binabaybay ang kalsada
binabaybay ang kalumpon ng mga demonyong nakasoot ng kulay asul
ganun din ang pagtahak sa kalumpon ng mga dorobo

Sadya bang dapat huwag mapapikit
o sasadyaing maglalakad ng pikit
at saka na lamang uli uusal ng mga salitang Dapat pala ginawa ko ito

Sadya bang huwag ng dapat umimik
o sasadyaing manahimik sa gilid?

Bukas gigising ang umaga sa tilaok ng manok
gigising ng maaga at maglalakbay papunta ng ALECO
sasabay sa daluyong ng mga tao
at haharapin ang nakabalandrang transyon at pamukpok ng mga demonyo!!!

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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Virgilio S Perdigon Jr
December 31, 2013

On December 24, the old management reconsidered its decision to disallow payment by member-consumers. Following severe public criticism, Engr. Russell Serrano and his management team opened the gates of ALECO.

 

When San Miguel personnel announced their takeover on December 26, member-consumers padlocked the big gate, allowing only member-consumers to enter the smaller one on the side.

 

Around 20 security guards arrived on December 27 and they tried to cut the chain wrapped around the middle bars of the big gate. Member-consumers, however resisted. The Chief of Police arrived and a conference was held in the morning between Engr. Serrano and Atty. Bart Rayco, chairman of the new IBOD. They agreed to maintain the status quo and set another meeting at 4 pm. However, when the COP arrived at the scheduled time, Engr. Serrano did not show up.

On December 28, Project Supervisor Veronica Briones went to the police station to complain. The COP asked for the presence of the new IBOD and ALEO. A temporary easing of tension occurred when member-consumers agreed to remove the padlock on two conditions: (1) no personnel of San Miguel Corporation would be allowed o enter; and (2) the new IBOD would be provided with a copy of the contract signed between ALECO old management and SMC.

On December 30, the strikers reported that SMC personnel were allowed by security guards to enter. They reported the matter on the police blotter. In the morning of December 31, more reports were received that SMC personnel could freely come and go. As of this time, no copy of the contract has been received by the new IBOD.

December 31, 2013

 

           
     
     
     


ALECO then and now
By Vince 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.

[BicolToday.com/03Aug2013]

- See more at: http://bicoltoday.com/2013/08/03/aleco-then-and-now/#sthash.ShBKHyUJ.PPQa4AVG.dpuf

 

     
     
 
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Virgilio S Perdigon Jr
December 25, 2013

The Moral More Than the Legal Questions

In Bikol, we have a folk wisdom: Kun ika nagtuturo ki sarong muro, saimo tulong muro an nagtuturo. When you point a finger at another person, three fingers are pointing at you. The old management of ALECO is pointing a finger at the new even as the former failed to comply with legal requirements when they committed the following violations:

1. To the disadvantage of Albay, only one bidder submitted on August 7, 2013.
2. The bid of SMC was not responsive to the Terms of Reference as evidenced by the long-drawn negotiations after the referendum.
3. The content of the draft contract between ALECO and SMC was not revealed during the roadshow prior to the referendum.
4. The pro-PSP bought votes, hauled voters, relocated voting centers and used government vehicles and other resources.
5. The contract signed by ALECO and SMC was never submitted to the member-consumers for ratification.

All these are violations of the legal requirements and yet the old management does not say anything about them. Still, they have the audacity to require the new IBOD to comply with legal requirements for the conduct of a General Assembly.


On its part, the new management declares that it is not strictly bound by the legal requirements for a General Assembly because what took place on December 21, 2013 was a member-consumers’ initiative prompted by expediency. It was the sole action available under the circumstances to save the electric cooperative from irreparable damage by illegitimate parties impending to takeover.

The questions of the day are more importantly about morality.

1. Is it moral for the Bishop and the Governor to leave the power requirements of Albayanos to the discretion of a private company with a voracious record of bidding for and taking over almost any going concern it sets its eyes on – electric cooperative, port, airport and airline?
2. Is it moral for the old management to compel the new to comply with legal requirements while the former are guilty themselves of non-compliance?
3. Is it moral for the old management to hide from the member-consumers the content of the contract with San Miguel Corporation?
4. Is it moral for the Bishop to issue a Pastoral Letter against vote-buying during the 2010 Sangguniang Kabataan election and keep quiet about the vote-buying and other violations during the 2013 ALECO referendum?
5. Is it moral to give away to non-Albayanos the geothermal energy emanating from Albay and make Albayanos pay a high price for electricity?

Before any party obliges AMSSO, ALEO, VACC and other people’s organizations to comply with legal requirements, they should first ask themselves these moral questions. Most urgently at this time, we oblige San Miguel Corporation to produce a contract with ALECO ratified by the General Assembly. The member-consumers have decided not to recognize the legitimacy of their takeover of ALECO.

December 25, 2013

 

     
     
           
     

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Virgilio S Perdigon Jr
December 23, 2013
Member-Consumers Retake ALECO

Albayanos took back Albay Electric Cooperative through member-consumers’ assembly on December 21, 2013 at around 11:00 am. It was an action of owners necessitated by the circumstances to express sentiments about their electric cooperative. After rushing through the gate along Vinzons Street, member-consumers reconstituted the Interim Board of Directors and Management Team, nullified the concession agreement between San Miguel Global Power Holdings, Inc. and ALECO, and reiterated the rejection of PSP and referendum result. Two hundred sixty five (265) member-consumers signed the attendance sheets.

Prior to the action, AMSSO wrote to the IBOD led by Bishop Joel Baylon inquiring about the ratification of the concession agreement. However, no response was received. SMGPHI is bent on commencing its formal management of ALECO while problems have arisen about payment of bills on top of the ongoing strike by employees. Many member-consumers are being asked to pay for consumption from January to November 2013 even when they have paid for the same. They are required to present receipts of payment, otherwise ALECO will demand repayment. Certain member-consumers were sent demand letters asking for over P15,000 in “unpaid” electric bills.

ALECO management applied for a rate increase without diligent effort to invite member-consumers to the “public hearing” on November 28. Only seven out of over 200,000 member-consumers were able to attend. During the roadshow for the referendum, ALECO management vowed that there would be no price increase under PSP. (Please see previous post.)

A new Interim Board of Directors was elected during the assembly. It is set to choose its Chairman and other officers soon.

December 21, 2013

           
           
BRINGING IN THE TROOPS IN AID OF PRIVATIZATION:
DEFEND AND PROTECT THE SAN MIGUEL POWER COMPANY
           
     


Member consumers are merely demanding for the concession agreement to check if the same is compliant with the terms of reference.

Is there really a need for this strength and force and to impose the what they call 'maximum tolerance' against member consumers asserting their rights over ALECO? There are only 4 member consumers allowed inside while there are more or less 20 police officers with truncheons, members of bomb squads and more than 20 security guards coming in and out of ALECO premises.

Nakakagalit na ang mga pulitiko at pulis. Sino ba ang pinoprotektahan niyo?

- Note by Duna Gee in Facebook
 

     

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SMC’s Management by Arrogance
Virgilio S Perdigon Jr

There is a 14-hour brownout being rotated among the feeders of ALECO. Essentially, it is a message from San Miguel Corporation. First, Albay is being reminded that like any other area, it needs electricity so bad, notwithstanding its vast geothermal energy sources in Tiwi and Manito towns. Second, San Miguel Corporation is in control of Albay’s electric supply. Anytime SMC desires, power can be cut at the corporation’s caprice. Third, Albay must kneel before SMC or else.

If SMC is good in management, it could have sliced the 14 hours into smaller segments like 5-5-4 over 3 days for example. This way, it would not cause the same damage as the straight dose. Refrigerator contents are spoiling and business is slowed down. Even before this power cutoff scheme, an Internet shop in Legazpi recently closed because of the sudden increase in the price of electricity.

These are the realities facing the province as SMC enters like a conquering emperor. The takeover is so insidious SMC does not want easy association with its identity. APEC (Albay Power Energy Corporation) was established to hide the de facto controller of energy in the province.

For our part, we Albayanos will always remind SMC that there is an organized force that will ever resist its occupation just like the Sandico guerillas who waited and attacked high in the southern mountains of Albay even as the Japanese Imperial Army lorded over the plains. The resistance to SMC occupation will always be there in forms creative Albayanos can contrive. Our defense does not rest.

     
           
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
           
     
   
   
     
           
           
           

 

/p

  
 

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