Cusi turns down Davao City face-off with power coops: Sa office ko na lang!
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has rejected a dialogue with officials of rural electric cooperatives in Davao City on Mar. 19, 2019.
“I don’t know the March 19. I have not received an official communication requesting for such,” he told journalists on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. (PHILRECA) asked Cusi for an open dialogue, along with other stakeholders, at the Grand Regal Hotel, which it considers as “neutral ground.”
Cusi said any discussion between DOE and the stakeholders should be done at the DOE office.
“We are always open. We’re here, we’re government office. We’re government institution and this office is always open to all. So no need of dialogue schedule,” he said.
PHILRECA said the dialog was in response to the appeal of National Electrification Administration (NEA) administrator Edgardo Masongsong for the discussion between officials of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the rural cooperatives.
The Energy department conducted reviews of 17 cooperatives and it said only eight of these are “ailing” and have failed to provide efficient services to their consumers.
Cusi said they continue to review operations not just of electric cooperatives but also distribution utilities (DUs) and generation companies as well as oil, petroleum and liquefied natural gas (LNG) manufacturers.
He noted that even President Rodrigo R. Duterte has “expressed his exasperation in not just one, not just two” energy-related companies.
“We are serving the public. That’s public interest and we cannot leave the welfare of the public to the sweet time of whether it is the ECs or the DUs or whoever,” he said.
He said DOE officials should not let inefficiencies be the norm, noting that they continue to check on the programs even of the past administration since some of these are yet to be implemented.
“I have no quarrel with ECs but this is what I can tell you – – l have to do my job and I will not be deterred by fear of what the affected party will do. If that would be my mindset then what happens to me, regulatory capture? That can’t be,” he said. (PNA)