THE Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (Amreco) is advocating for the creation of a Mindanao power corporation or Minpocor which will significantly contribute to the power distribution in Mindanao.
Amreco held its first general assembly in Cagayan de Oro City on Friday, November 25. In its manifesto, the group stated that “it supports the passage of the bill creating Minpocor as a stand-alone government owned and controlled corporation to place under government control the Agus-Pulangui complexes and raise sufficient funds to operate, maintain, and improve such assets efficiently.”
“The creation of Minpocor is seen as a necessary measure to assure the full development and maximized utilization of the power resources of the region, ensure transparent and reasonable prices of electricity, protect public interest, and achieve greater operational and economic efficiency in Mindanao,” noted further in Amreco’s manifesto.
Amerco has urged the government to review the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) as it lobbied for the amendments of the law’s certain provisions, including the privatization of the Agus and Pulangui hydroelectric power plants which Amreco insists should be owned and managed by the government.
Over 400 officials from the 34 member-cooperatives have gathered to discuss the direction of the association. The group aligns its plan with the Duterte administration in shifting to the federal system of government.
With this proposal already being considered by some sectors, Amreco president Sergio Dagooc, in a statement, said “it is only fitting that we [electric cooperative] leaders in Mindanao will throw our full support and cooperation, in consideration that are also already advocating the same principle [federalism] long before.”
The event’s theme “Federalism: its impact on Mindanao Electric Cooperatives and its members consumers,” Dagooc said, “is a proactive approach that as early as today, we need to start discussing with our very own great leaders from Mindanao the issue at hand.”
For his part, Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said he is in full support of Amreco “as an ally in the accomplishment of mutually beneficial reforms and objectives for the people of Mindanao.”
National Electrification Administration Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, in his message, said that federalism poses a challenge to be adept at the changes it entails even as it promises the economic growth in the regions in the island.
Amreco needs to seize this opportunity to take the lead in determining the impact of federalism in Mindanao’s dynamic power industry, he said, as support for federalism begins to gain strength.