Saturday, 10 December 2011 00:00
The Basilan Electric Cooperative, Inc., BASELCO for short, has been in existence for more than three decades now. Its operation started in 1975 and this humble representation served as the first President. There was no fund then available for disbursement.
Modesty aside, it was somehow a sacrifice travelling spent personal money to reach NEA with the end in view to see and follow-up the fulfillment and development of the electric cooperative. Our hope and aspiration to see the cooperative functional and a reality was felt upon the assignment of a General Manager by the National Electrification Administration in mid-1976.
Six years with the electric cooperative provided unique insight, experience and delight to see new electric poles standing with transmission and distribution lines spread out to Lamitan in the east and Maluso as well in the west. The first major accomplishment of BASELCO was the construction and completion of the cooperative headquarter facilities such as the imposing administration building, the power plant and power distribution station within the premises of a three-hectare land area purchased at more or less, P 30,000.00 in 1976.
There were only five members of the BASELCO Board of Directors elected by the members-consumers in each district distributed as follows: two directors for Isabela City and two directors for Lamitan District and one director for Maluso district. The election of directors from each district is on staggered basis to serve for two years.
The Board in its regular meeting adopted and approved policies for implementation and execution by management hierarchy. NEA assigned the General Manager for the electric cooperative. Unknown to all sundry, in the capacity as President of the electric cooperative, this humble writer interposed objection to the construction and installation of the mini-hydroelectric system due to wanton destruction and deterioration of the forest trees by logging firm allegedly operated by a powerful politician and other rebel leaders who were granted logging concession.
It is noteworthy to mention, BASELCO board adopted a resolution addressed to NEA as early in 1976 for the installation of a submersible cable from Zamboanga City to Tandu-Ahas at Lamitan a distance of fourteen (14) nautical miles. The request was not given favorable action by NEA instead proceeded to construct a mini-hydroelectric power system. It was ironic the cooperative did not enjoy the support and endorsement from political leaders hereabouts.
Truly, the situation was discouraging and so lamentable as NEA proceeded to pursue plan for the construction of the mini-hydropower facility. At that point in time, the electric cooperative was at the mercy of and subservient to NEA as it provided the necessary materials and tools in the form of loans.
Today, BASELCO after more than thirty years is in a big MESS. It has a huge debt, the facilities were sequestered and the Board of Directors apparently has not yet propelled to the satisfaction of the coop members a solution to help solve the crisis besetting BASELCO. The situation may lead to the declaration of coop bankruptcy in accordance with its By-Laws. It calls for revamp and government intercession to save it from dissolution.
A solar-powered energy system through conversion of sunlight into electricity may be a good and viable source of supplementary power. Another option is the installation of coal-powered system though apparently hazardous but can be prevented by some remedial measures.
The ultimate goal is to have a reliable and dependable power system. Even though some of these things are being done elsewhere, very few people hereabouts have this kind of depth in terms of providing a power system that is reliable, dependable and even perhaps efficient and cheaper electricity. How long will Basileños continue to suffer from the brownouts?
It is about time during the administration of the honest-to goodness President PNOY to ask for this big opportunity for the construction of solar energy may ultimately save the energy-starved parts of the island-province-Basilan.
Let us see P-NOY at Malacañang and present the proposal to help solve the MESS that BASELCO has todate. The Bishop of Basilan, I suppose, can lead a group of concerned citizens to see P-NOY in his residence over there at Pasig River.
SCOOP: Who is this GSIS personnel at Zamboaga Branch Office when ask about a claim, the usual reply “under process?” Madam, tell that words to a dead marine but not to GSIS members or retirees, as the case maybe. Hopefully, it is the truth what you are saying.
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