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KIDAPAWAN CITY - The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has called the heads of all Mindanao electric cooperatives to a forum in Kidapawan City Sept. 17 to discuss the energy situation in the island.

The planned assembly would either be held via a Zoom online conference or a strictly-observed safe physical distancing gathering of 29 electric cooperative heads across the island in one huge venue provided that minimum health protocols for the deterrence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are observed.

MinDA chair Sec. Emmanuel Piñol made the statement on Sunday, after a visit by officials of the Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) at the former’s farmhouse at Barangay Paco here.

The planned September meeting targets to review the current energy status, performance, and projections of electric cooperatives (ECs) in consonance with the economic growth and energy requirement in Mindanao.

The same conference aims to address peculiar issues with viable to improve electric distribution services concerning the rising number of investors planning to put-up ventures in Mindanao.

MinDA, as the coordinating body of the national government for Mindanao-wide inter-regional development plans, programs, and projects, also joined hands with ECs to upgrade its capacity in providing ample power supply energy to their respective franchise areas in Mindanao.

“We will try to tap all necessary measures and approach to ensure that development will commence with enough and sufficient energy services even in the rural areas potential for agri-business and trades”, Piñol said.

Piñol said he remains optimistic that development is reachable with a planned and feasible outlook of electricity use as support to drive industries to a manageable future.

ECs are service-oriented, non-profit, and non-political entities that have the primary advocacy of providing electrification in far-flung areas of the country.

“This is a significant stance in partnering MinDA to craft necessary initiatives to realize the common goal of attaining the prosperous and well-developed Mindanao”, said Engr. Godofredo B. Homez, Cotelco general manager and concurrent chair of the Central Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperative Association (CEMRECA) in Region 12.

Homez vowed to relay the details of the initial meeting with Piñol to officials of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperative (AMRECO) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA). AMRECO has 29 active EC members in different parts of Mindanao. (story from John Andrew Tabugoc, Philippine News Agency)

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