Electric cooperatives (ECs) throughout the country have thrown their support behind Vice President Leni Robredo’s presidential bid.
Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA) president and partylist Rep. Presley De Jesus confirmed to Power Philippines that the country’s 121 ECs are backing Robredo, who recently signed a ten-point agenda covenant with rural power distributors.
Among the salient points in the covenant is the continued existence and renewal of EC franchises, the crafting of laws aimed at lowering electricity costs, and the establishment of a Mindanao-based power firm owned by ECs and their respective member-consumer-owners (MCOs).
The Vice President, a long-time development worker, is against suggestions calling for the privatization of ECs, saying that public utilities should “not be profit-oriented.”
PHILRECA’s support for Robredo comes after the National Electrification Administration (NEA) denounced rival Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s view of ECs as “inefficient” parts of the power delivery process. NEA, which was created under the administration of former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., oversees ECs. De Jesus also told Power Philippines that the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, which serves Marcos Jr.’s home province, is among the 121 ECs supporting the Vice President’s bid.
“We express our trust to VP Leni that she will embody the truest and most legitimate sense of leadership by strengthening further what she has started already, despite all the challenges she has encountered inside and outside of the confines of this government,” De Jesus said in a statement.
Aside from PHILRECA, representatives from the Empowered Citizens of the Philippines, National Center of Electric Cooperatives Consumers (NCECCO), and other organizations under the EC-MCO Movement signed the covenant.
NCECCO Secretary-General and former NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong was also a signatory.
“We, in the One EC-MCO Movement, are in Solidarity with the Honorable Vice President Robredo, in her bid for the highest position in the land. We are a movement that believes in a leadership that puts the welfare of Filipinos above all; a leadership that strives to unite all sides despite differences in ideologies and beliefs; and a leadership that empowers community-owned services like our electric cooperatives,” Masongsong said.
Photo from VP Leni Robredo Facebook page.