Albay gov, congressmen prefer SMEC takeover of electric cooperative

August 16
5:44 AM 2013

The governor and two congressmen of the Province of Albay in the Philippines favored the takeover of San Miguel Energy Corp of Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO). Albay Governor Joey Salceda told ABS-CBN News that he preferred the energy unit of San Miguel Corp to assume ALECO's PHP 3.6 billion debt and manage the electric cooperative. Representatives Al Francis Bichara and Fernando Gonzalez, both of Albay, also wanted that option. Gonzalez told ABS-CBN News, "Management-wise, San Miguel has the capability to handle it. The coop-to-coop offer does not offer a solution."

Jericho Petilla, Secretary of the Department of Energy, gave ALECO's stakeholders until September 14 to make their decision. They would pick between having a private entity like SMEC takeover or let another electric cooperative manage ALECO. This would be done through a referendum. SMEC was the only private entity bidder left after Aboitiz Electric and Manila Energy earlier backed out. Meanwhile, Benguet Electric Cooperative offered to take over the reins of the debt-ridden ALECO through a coop-to-coop deal. 

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