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Performing electric coops should not be afraid of privatization —Nograles

ROMBLON, Romblon —A Malacañang official on Saturday told electric cooperatives  not to worry about government's plan to privatize some who fail to solve the recurring power outages in their areas.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles told reporters in a press briefing in Romblon that electric cooperatives who provide good service to consumers should not be threatened by the possibility of privatization.

"Yung threat ng pagpasok ng mga private ay kung palpak 'yung electric coop, pero [kung] maganda naman ang pagpapatakbo ng electric Coop, bakit kayo mababahala na mapasukan ng private? Hindi naman papayag yung ating mga consumers jan, yung area na kinokoberan ng electric coop," Nograles said.

"Siguro yung natatakot lang sa privatization na tinatawag o may threat ng privatization ay yung mga electric coops na hindi naman maganda ang serbisyong ibinibigay," he added.

Nograles also noted that privatization should not be an issue on cooperatives like Romblon Electric Cooperative (ROMELCO) because its consumers and members are satisfied with its performance.

He said electric cooperatives are being evaluated by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to determine which are not performing well.

Employees of some electric cooperatives have started wearing black shirts every Friday to show their protest over the pronouncement of Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi that he would propose to cancel or revoke the franchise of under-performing, financially and technically distressed electric cooperatives.

"Kung mag protesta, okay lang yan basta well within the limitations of the law. Constitutional rights yan ng kahit sinumang gusto mag protesta basta well within the limit of the law," Nograles said.

Nograles said that while protesting, the employees should keep an open line with the government to discuss solutions to their situation. 

Nograles visited Romblon on Saturday to speak at the 27th Annual General Membership Assembly of ROMELCO. —LDF, GMA News