The Northern Samar Electric Cooperative (NORSAMELCO) has lowered its electricity rates from P12.27 per kilowatt hour (kwh) to P9.38/kwh effective February this year.

The downward adjustment means a decrease of P578 in the bill of a typical household consuming 200 kwh per month. On households and commercial establishments consuming 500 kwh, a reduction of P1,445.00 is expected.

Engr. Hector Tabilisma, project supervisor and acting general manager of NORSAMELCO, attributed the decrease of P2.85/kWh to the commencement of a long-term power supply contract procured through Competitive Selection Process (CSP) conducted in 2015 including the 10 electric cooperatives in the region. Tabilisma hopes that this development will attract more investors to do business in the province.

“The rate reduction will greatly enhance the investment climate in Northern Samar. Sa ngayon, mas mataas pa ang singil ng kuryente sa Manila kumpara ditto sa atin,” Tabilisma proudly said.

Tabilisma expressed his utmost thanks to the leadership of the Provincial Government of Northern Samar for their support in making NORSAMELCO a stable electric cooperative.

“Governor Jun Ong has been very supportive, as well as Vice Governor Gary Lavin and all the Board Members. Lahat ng initiatives na inilapit ko sa kanila, sinuportahan nila. Gumawa pa ang probinsya ng resolution na ini-endorse ‘yung ating plano sa restructuring,” Tabilisma declared.

From being an ailing D-rated cooperative, NORSAMELCO has greatly improved since 2013 and is now rated A by the National Electrification Administration (NEA), two notches away from the highest rating of AAA. It can be recalled that the debt of the cooperative to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) rose to more than P641M in 2013, wherein NEA intervened and took over the management and operations. NEA installed Engr. Hector Tabilisma as acting general manager in July 2013 while allegations of mismanagement and corruption led to the resignation of its Board of Directors in August of that year.

Governor Ong is glad of the improvement and stability that NORSAMELCO now enjoys, and hopes that somehow it helps improve the quality of lives of the Northern Samareños. The unstable power supply was one of the focuses of his campaign in 2013.

“We are so proud of the gains of NORSAMELCO. At the start of my term as governor, I was one of many who opposed of having a board of directors, and turning over the management of the cooperative to them. I commend the leadership of Engr. Tabilisma for having resuscitated the cooperative from near dissolution,” Gov. Ong affirmed.

Recently, the proposal to elect a new set of board of directors was again raised but Gov. Ong’s reservations remain.

“I believe that rushing to elect a new set of board of directors at this crucial time when NORSAMELCO is just rebuilding is counterproductive and something the cooperative can do without for now. In fact, this sentiment has also been expressed by our Sangguniang Panlalawigan through a resolution. The many businesses coming to invest in the province is a good indication of the current strong leadership at the cooperative’s helm,” Gov. Ong stressed.

Tabilisma also expressed gratitude to Representatives Edwin Ong and Raul Daza, for personally lobbying to PSALM to approve the restructured loan payment plan of the cooperative which led to the signing of a Restructuring Agreement last November 26, 2018.

Finally, Tabilisma added that the long-term power supply contract with GN Power Dinginin Ltd. Company which started this year will ensure a secure and dependable electric power supply.

Kung sinuman ang mamumuhunan dito sa probinsiya for the next 15 years ay makakaasa na tuluy-tuloy ang supply ng kuryente sa abot-kayang halaga,” Tabilisma concluded.