Aleco holds referendum for members to choose management option

LEGAZPI CITY, — Some 100,000 consumers of the Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco) have started to cast their votes in designated voting precincts all over the province in Saturday’s referendum to choose the better option in rehabilitating the debt-burdened electric cooperative.

Referendum coordinators have put up 23 voting precincts in public elementary and high schools which opened as early as 8:00 a.m. to accommodate up to 3:00 p.m. the voters in the 15 towns and three cities of the province, said Alvie Boral, Aleco spokesperson.

Boral said nine voting precincts were set up in the first district of the province covering the towns Tiwi, Malinao, Malilipot, Bacacay and Sto. Domingo and Tabaco City.

Six voting centers were opened in the second district — in the towns of Daraga, Camalig, Manito and Rapu-rapu and in this city; while in eight voting precincts were set up in the third district — in the towns of Guinobatan, Jovellar, Pio Duran, Oas, Polangui and Libon and in Ligao City.

The Saturday’s referendum will be supervised by the Philippine Rural Electricity Cooperative Association (Philreca) led by lawyer Wendell Ballesteros.

Boral said Philreca, with 19 member-electric cooperatives across the country, has dispatched some 106 personnel to assist and man the various referendum committees organized at the precinct, district and provincial levels.

She said some P 2 million will be spent to finance the referendum.

Boral said a master list of registered names of electricity consumers is available at the voting center.

Voters will be required to present a valid identification card and an electric bill in order to validate their membership and cast their votes.

At stake in today’s referendum are the two options offered by the Dept. of Energy to rehabilitate the ailing electric cooperative.

These are the Private Sector Participation option wherein San Miguel Corporation Global Power Holdings, as a concessionaire, will infuse P 1.2 billion for operational and capital expenditure, manage the coop for 25 years and assume the close to P 4 billion debts to creditors.

The other option is the Cooperative-to-Cooperative scheme where the cooperative will be managed by the Benguet Electric Cooperative, which claims to have an excellent track record in managing an electric cooperative.