By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The government will revoke the franchise of the electric cooperatives in Mindanao and allow new players to take over their operations if they fail to improve the delivery of services, according to Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella.
Fuentebella said they are now waiting for the issuance of an Executive Order from Malacañang that will give the Department of Energy (DOE) the authority to waive the franchise of non-performing electric cooperatives in Mindanao.
The DOE, he said, will be constrained to give the franchise to other private players to ensure an efficient delivery of power services to consumers in unserved and underserved areas.
But if there would be no interested players, Fuentebella said they will mandate the National Power Corporation (Napocor) to provide for adequate, reliable, and efficient supply of electricity in missionary areas.
“What if they are not able to comply with the timeline? Their franchise will be deemed waived if they fail to provide the right services,” he said.
He said the government targets to energize all households in the country by 2022.
According to the data from DOE, the current household electrification level as of December 2017 was at 88.3 percent, with 21 million of the 24 million households in the country having access to electricity.
It added that DOE identified six regions with electrification levels falling below 80 percent. There are four in Mindanao (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao 27.4 percent, SOCCSKARGEN 65.6 percent, Zamboanga peninsula 67 percent, and Davao region 68.2 percent), the Negros Island Region in the Visayas (79.3 percent) and MIMAROPA in Luzon (79.9 percent).