Mindanao power coops told to invest in R&D

By , on November 16, 2017

(Photo: National Electrification Administration/Facebook)
FILE: NEA Edward Masongsong (Photo: National Electrification Administration/Facebook)

MANILA — National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong is urging electric cooperatives (ECs) in Mindanao to invest in research and development to remain competitive and to better address the challenges facing the power industry.

Masongsong said this during a two-day refresher course organized by the NEA-EC Training Institute with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel in Cagayan de Oro last Tuesday.

“For the Philippines to be globally competitive and to fulfill our mandate of bringing electricity to the un-served and underserved areas of the country, we need to upgrade our skills and technologies,” Masongsong said.

The NEA chief also recognized the need for his agency to establish its own research and development unit.

“I am advocating the establishment of a research and development unit in NEA,” he said. “We need a pool of experts who can generate, consolidate, and analyze data on the power industry.”

Masongsong said research is essential in policy formulation. “We in the electric cooperatives must, in our own right, be experts in matters regarding power industry,” he said.

He said the country could not move forward without research and development.

“How do we protect the interest of our consumers if we don’t understand anything about the industry? We owe it to our kids and grandkids,” Masongsong pointed out.

Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Beneco) general manager Gerardo Verzosa, meanwhile, shared with the Mindanao ECs his own group’s experience on WESM and other dynamics in the power industry.

“We do not shirk from sharing our best practices. Ultimately, we belong to one family. I just hope ECs here in Mindanao can gather enough information to better their performance and operations, and redound these to the greater benefit of Mindanao electricity consumers,” he said.