DCM calls for transparency on Nordeco’s credit line renewal

(Photo credit to Nordeco)
(Photo credit to Nordeco)

TAGUM CITY — A consumer group has expressed concern over the renewal of Northern Davao Electric Cooperative, Inc.'s (Nordeco) credit line with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) on October 18, 2023.

In an online post, Nordeco said the credit line will allow it to improve its power service within their franchise area.

“This development would redound to better and quality service to our member-consumer-owners. We vow that Nordeco shall carry on in improving our services and contribute to the progress of the cities and municipalities in our franchise coverage areas,” Nordeco Acting General Manager Elvera S. Alngog said in a statement.

The Davao Consumer Movement (DCM), however, expressed concern that given Nordeco's current financial state, it may pass on to consumers whatever amount it will loan from DBP.

“Since they claim that the credit line will be for improving their services and distribution, could it be that they will soon increase the distribution charge in our electric bills?” DCM convenor Ryan Amper said in a statement.

Amper pointed out that Nordeco's power rates in Nordeco are already higher than electric franchises in the Davao Region.

Based on the latest data, Nordeco’s residential rate was at P12.94 per kilowatt hour (kwh), while Davao Light and Power Company (Davao Light)'s was at P9.21/kwh only. Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative (DORECO)'s residential rate is currently at P12/kwh, while Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative is charging customers around P8/kwh.

“While we want to see improved services, it must not be passed on to the consumers. We are already paying high rates as it is and have barely experienced any improvement in their services. What have they been doing with what we have been paying them all these years?” Amper said.

DCM is also questioning whether Nordeco was given approval by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to renew its credit line, considering that Nordeco does not have the healthiest financial status in the region.

“They will be borrowing money in the millions and hundreds of thousands. Is ERC or NEA aware of this? Their debt may have been ballooning as we speak,” Amper said.

Amper called on Nordeco to publicly lay down its plans on how it will use the credit line.

“At the end of the day, we are the consumers of Nordeco. We are the ones paying Nordeco executives their salary. Hence, it is our right to know what they will use the money for,” he said.

Amper said Nordeco should present its plans to the public as a sign of transparency and also as an assurance that it is doing its best to address the power crisis in Davao del Norte. PR

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