Editorial. Lighting the Province

Lighting the province has always been the mandate of Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO). It is the reason why the coop was created In the first place.

As early as the first term of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos from 1965 to 1969, the National government launched the ambitious program to electrify the whole country under the National Electrification Administration (NEA). The program was to be financed by the US-AID (United States Agency for International Development).

As usual, the foreign funding agencies made the condition that the business has to be run by the private sector. On paper, Marcos complied with the US-AID terms. So, the cooperatives were created. But these were placed under the administration and supervision of NEA and was thus under government control.

Accordingly, all loans given through a grant in aid program of US-AID were channeled through the NEA.

Among the cooperators the concept had varying meanings. Some think the coops are private, some think the coops are government-owned.

And probably, among the member-consumers of LASURECO, one of the coops created during Martial Law, the prevalent understanding was that the coop is government-owned. No wonder, that in those days and until recently, most of the consumers did not care to settle their electrical bills.

Moreover, when there was rampant pilferage of electrical materials such as transmission cables, structural members and transformers shortly after the EDSA revolution, the public did not mind.

When the NEA took over a few years ago and placed Engr. Ashary Maongco as the Acting General Manager, the outstanding debts of LASURECO had already ballooned to roughly P8 Billion. It seems that until then, the concept that the coop is not government-owned had not sunk to the minds of the member-consumers.

Today, the situation has greatly changed. Under Task Force LASURECO, with the hands-on leadership of Acting General Manager Solaiman “Soler” Mutia, the people have understood that they own the coop and that they and they alone can work together for its survival and perpetuity. People have been making up with the settlement of their current and past accumulated obligations.

The eastern municipalities have been energized. Soon, with the completion with the 69KV Line from Marawi to Tugaya and the sought after extension of the transmission facilities to the Unayan area that includes among others the coastal municipalities of Balabagan, Kapatagan, Malabang and Picong, there is a bright propect for the complete achievement of the coop’s mandate.

With a determined leadership and the active participation of the member-consumers as cooperators, lighting the province is at hand.

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