THE capital contributions of member-consumers of electric cooperatives all over the country must be recognized and respected.

This is the gist of the legislative measure introduced by City Councilor Fred Bagbagen and adopted by the City Council last Monday with the title, "In Support, Unity and Solidarity to the urgent appeal for compassion from our Beloved President Benigno Aquino III and his official family in Malacanang, Senators and Congressmen, His Holiness Pope Francis and his Eminence Cardinal Tagle on the plight of 9 million households or 45 million Filipino power consumers published in full page on the January 15, 2015 issue of the Philippine Star newspaper by various concerned electric-consumers organizations and individuals".

As explained by Councilor Bagbagen, the rate of electricity in the Philippines has already become expensive and burdensome to the ordinary Filipino due to the electric industry relying heavily on fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas whose prices are pegged based on international benchmarks. The published letter which formed the basis of the council resolution mentioned the non-recognition of the P100 billion as patronage capital contribution to the capital expenditures (CAPEX) of electric cooperatives which is deemed a violation of right to property without just compensation, or getting a fair return of investments and capital contributions of the member-consumers of electric cooperatives.

The letter as published went on to cite that the mandatory contribution for CAPEX or Reinvestment Fund for Sustainable CAPEX is very clearly and undoubtedly patronage capital contributions of the member-consumers of all electric cooperatives as provided in the pertinent provisions of Presidential Decree 269 which created the National Electrification Administration (NEA). It further revealed that the Palawan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (PALECO) and all member cooperatives under the Philippine Federation of Electric Cooperatives (PHILFECO) were successful in their respective jurisdictions in having the patronage capital contributions of their power consumers recognized through a mere board resolution and opting for conversion into real peoples cooperative pursuant to Republic Act 6938 which ordained the cooperative code of the Philippines.

As further explained in the approved resolution apart from the support for the appeal that the capital contributions of member-consumers in excess of operations cost of electric cooperatives in the Philippines, amounting to more or less P100 billion, be recognized as patronage capital contributions of the affected member-consumers, support was also given to the appeal made for the possible conversion of electric cooperatives in cooperatives under the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

Also last Monday the City Council officially welcomed its newest member to the august body in the person of City Councilor Lilia G. Yaranon, and who was immediately designated as Chairperson of the Committee on Ethics, Governmental Affairs and Personnel, as well as a member of the Committee on Social Services, Women and Urban Poor, Committee on Public Works, Committee on Ways and Means Cluster B, and the Barangay Administrative Cases Division II.

In her remarks to the august body the former city councilor and spouse of former City Mayor Braulio Yaranon said that she will immediately buckle down to work in the formulation and crafting of ordinances and resolutions that would benefit the City. Her appointment to the City Council was handed down earlier from the top leadership of the Liberal Party which was given discretion and authority in the replacement of one of its members to the City Council, former City Councilor Edison Bilog who succeeded into office and was elevated as Vice Mayor of the City of Baguio occupying the vacant position left by former Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas.