TACLOBAN CITY – The Commission on Audit has started reviewing the PHP427.67 million subsidy that a local electric cooperative received from the government from 2011 to 2022, the Northern Samar provincial government announced Wednesday.
Auditors of the COA Special Audits Office are now in the province to check if the subsidies by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to the Northern Samar Electric Cooperative (Norsamelco) have been properly recorded, utilized and accounted for according to their purpose.
The PHP427.67 million outlay was primarily intended for the energization in the remote communities through the Barangay Line Enhancement Program and Sitio Electrification Program.
“It will look into the reasonableness of the cost of materials, labor and contracts whether the projects were implemented in accordance with the specifications and prescribed timelines and if Norsamelco’s monitoring system is also in place and operational,” the provincial government stated.
Meanwhile, auditors will also investigate the power cooperative’s rates, whether the charges to member-consumers are just and reasonable, in compliance with the policies of regulatory agencies.
Earlier, the provincial government invited Norsamelco to attend one of the sessions of the provincial board to shed light on high power rates, power outages and other related concerns in the province.
The high-power rates, according to an earlier statement from Norsamelco, are largely influenced by an existing contract with a service provider that offers high power charges.
Power disruptions were caused by vegetation getting in the way of distribution lines, maintenance operations, and power shutdowns by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
As of the end of 2021, Norsamelco has 73,013 power consumers in 24 Northern Samar towns. (PNA)