In April 25, 1972 the NEA organized 36 electric cooperatives and AKELCO is one of them.Initially, it included only ten towns in the province as its coverage area. But was later expanded into 19 towns including Pandan and Libertad in Antique, by virtue of the amended Article of Incorporation and By-Laws enacted by the members last July 9, 1977.It then took over the operation from the defunct Kalibo Electric Light and Power Company in April 16, 1974 as well as, the Electric Systems in the Municipalities of Makato and Ibajay in October and December 1975, respectively. But because power was only self-generated, there was scarcity then which made AKELCO unable to serve the member-consumers.Construction by a contractor of the 69-KV transmission and distribution lines to cover the ten towns coverage area started only in July 29, 1975 and was completed two years after or in July 29, 1977. The AKELCO, together with CAPELCO, jointly implemented the construction of the 69-KV transmission lines, which actually brought power from NPC to the ten-service coverage area only in September 1978.The backbone system for the nine other town service area was constructed by forced account maximizing the AKELCO trained personnel. In 1979, at least 17 of the 19 towns service coverage area were served with electricity, while the municipalities of Libacao and Madalag were not served. The construction was hampered due to the lack of construction materials. Without such predicament, construction could have been finished despite the rugged terrain and mountainous conditions of its coverage area.In 1981 to1984, AKELCO has proven itself correct and pay off its obligations with NEA. However, in November of 1984, a super typhoon devastated the AKELCO, which incurred costs of repair and consequently unable to pay its loan with NEA.In 1985, Akelco was able to overcome the challenges and in fact yielded a net margin of more than P1 million, which further increased to a high of P4.2 millions in 1986.In 1989, because of Akelco’s growth and success, it was categorized as a Class A Cooperative. However, in December of the same year, because of the implementation of R.A. 6727 and the increase in NPC rate, which continued in 1990, AKELCO again was unable to pay its obligations with NEA.The cooperative was not able to pay on time the NPC power bills and did not enjoy the prompt payment discount (PPD). Likewise, it unable to pay on time its other obligations, including the salaries and wages. At that time, AKELCO had a workforce of 278 personnel serving some 29, 304 member-consumers.In March 1990, the late General Manager Job Y. Besana went on leave due to a severe illness. By the authority of the Board of Directors, Mr. Herminio B. Yatar Sr., the MSD Manager then, took over as OIC. He however resigned in the same post in July 31, 1990. These led to the assignment of the Project Supervisors from NEA, namely: Deputy Administrator Engr. Manuel Sta. Maria, Roberto G. Aterrado, who served very shortly until July 1991.
THE TURNING POINT
After which, Atty. Leovigildo T. Mationg, then NEA’s Corporate Lawyer, was designated Project Supervisor of AKELCO, who was later designated Acting General Manager in November 1991, immediately after the preventive suspension was served against GM Besana.In December 1991, Besana re-assumed his post when his suspension was restrained by the Court of Appeals. Atty. Mationg, acted immediately and secured a Clarificatory Order from the same court, which actually sustained the suspension order. He (Besana) then tried to assume the management of AKELCO but prevented from doing so and was not able to enter the AKELCO compound in Lezo due to the protest rally staged by the AKELEA (AKELCO Employees Association) in January 2, 1992.Four days after the attempted take-over, an alleged AKELEA President in front of the AKELCO gate shot a police officer. Because of this, the Board passed a resolution on January 9, 1992 directing the transfer of AKELCO office to formerly Amon Theatre Building in Kalibo. Another Board resolution followed dismissing from service GM Besana, who for the second time was issued a suspension order by the NEA.GM Besana and his supporters refused to give up and continued running the operation of the cooperative. This led to confusion among the member-consumers as to who was then the legitimate AKELCO management. The power cooperative suffered of low collection efficiency at only 67 percent, the AKELCO in Kalibo paid the NPC power bills partially and applied for the restructuring of the balance.Due to the abnormal condition and operation of the cooperative, it was declared as Category D in 1993. It bounced back into Category B in 1995, but was again re-categorized into a Class C in 1997.With a relative increase in collection efficiency at 94 percent and decrease in systems loss at 18 percent in 1999, compared to the 1984-1988 levels, upgrading of its facilities were undertaken. In June of 2000, AKELCO started amortizing its NEA loans.In 2001, the cooperative again suffered tremendous losses because of the high cost of operations having employed over 340 workforce and other unexplained causes. The consequence was, the cooperative again was not able to pay its obligations with NPC and NEA including employees benefits (i.e. PAG-IBIG, SSS etc.) as well as to the suppliers.Because AKELCO is now incurring heavy net losses and failed to meet its obligation, the power supply was disconnected by the NPC.
In Macalañang, President Arroyo said that the decision to cut-off its power supply in the province of Aklan was described as a painful decision “It was a painful decision for me because my political allies were at the shorter end and that we have to have a management take-over of Akelco and now they have an award,” President Arroyo said.Atty. Mationg ran for the Congressional Seat in Aklan in the year 2001 under the same political party of Mrs. Arroyo but eventually lost to rival Congresswoman Billie Calizo.They also knew that the tourism industry not only of the province but also of the country as well would be affected by the power cut off. Boracay Island (which is under the juridical coverage of Aklan) is considered a premier tourism destination in the entire country which is being visited by an average of 200, 000 foreign tourists every year.Department of Energy Vince Perez who agree with President Arroyo’s sentiments that the decision is painful and that then Department of Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon and the late Senator Rene Cayetano asked him intensively study the possible impact of the power cut-off in Aklan particularly in Boracay.“After 33 months, I know my decision to cut-off the power electricity in the Aklan province is right because we have seen the result. The AKELCO is now in the right track,” Perez said in Boracay Island recently. THE TURN-AROUND COOPERATIVEAs soon as the NEA Administrator Fr. Silva ordered the take-over, Mr. Bucoy after reaching a decision in less than 24 hours accepted the job and immediately flew to Iloilo from Cebu. He then proceeded to Kalibo, Aklan with the assistance of GM Fred Billena of ILECO I and confidential friends from all fronts.Without any-untoward incident, but tension filled situation starting in the evening of April 20, 2002, Mr. Bucoy, with the support from all sectors and/or stakeholders, carried out with swiftness the take-over in the dawn of April 21, 2002. Before the end of the day, the take-over, including the transfer of almost all properties from its Kalibo office back to Lezo Office, was practically finished.On April 22, 2002, the AKELCO personnel, acting on NEA orders, started working back at its central office in Lezo, Aklan. After attending meeting with the Executive Officer, everybody started setting up the offices of every department and continued doing their respective jobs.On April 25, 2002, a General Staff Assembly was conducted with Fr. Silva, as the Speaker-Lecturer. Other Present during the assembly included Edicio dela Torre, Alexander Benedicto, Atty. Rex JMA Fernandez, Edgar R. Masongsong and Wilfredo Ortiz.The assembly then set the tone for AKELCO, Fr. Silva, entered into an agreement with the Change Management Team CMT) by declaring that everybody will be in amnesia that is, forgetting everything that happened in the past. Should the employees ncontinue to resist the reforms, everything will also be remembered and will become the basis for future decisions.There were some who resisted change. There were at least 57 or more AKELCO personnel, who opted to be loyal to personalities, rather than to the organization. They were summarily dismissed.Atty. Mationg, who was eventually ousted from the power cooperative, had filed a case asking for his return as general manager of AKELCO. He was favored by the Court of Appeals but the AKELCO management filed a motion for reconsideration to the Supreme Court. The case is still now pending in the SC.The others who cooperated in the rehabilitation are now conscious and are working towards making the power cooperative an organization of ‘absolute honesty, maximum efficiency and total solidarity.’NEA Administrator Edith Bueno, then Governor (now Congressman) Florencio Miraflores, the BFI and the League of Municipal Mayors in the province also played major roles in the quick turn of events of AKELCO.Because of the successful turn-around of the power cooperative, it received numerous awards and recognitions from the NEA. In 2003, the AKELCO received the Best Turn-Around Cooperative Award, Model Headquarters Facilities Award and the Power Cooperative with Reflection, Question, Information and Messages (RQIM) Awards.In 2004, the AKELCO again received four awards such as the Most Improved Electric Cooperative, Leadership Award, Extra-Ordinary Performance Award and a Special Citation for the Change Management Team.This year 2005, the AKELCO had received the highest award given by the NEA to the power cooperative namely the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Award for Exemplary Performance.The continued success of AKELCO had inspired other low-managed power cooperative in the entire country to follow its footsteps.As threats on possible forceful take-over continues to be aired over the radio by the renegade supporters of Atty. Mationg, the AKELCO employees recently took their own initiative to launched a signature campaign among themselves opposing the take-over threats and coming back of Mationg.“They (AKELCO employees and management) should take this challenge of threats of take-over as compared to the trials in life. These trials should make them strong and able to sustain its Class A + Status,” Perez said in an interview.Last February 18, 2005 Perez officially declared the AKELCO as one of the multi-awarded Class A+ Power Cooperative in the country today.
Thou shalt protect and promote the paramount interest of all coop members with your whole heart in Absolute Honesty, Maximum Efficiency & Total Solidarity.
AKELCO that is modern and dependable ISO certified electric distribution authority focused on total member-consumer satisfaction, adaptive and responsive to a liberalized power industry, thereby contributing to the progress of its franchise area.
AKELCO that is effective and efficient cooperative, viable and sustainable electricity distribution business, supported by member-consumers, managed and operated by competent and professional staff, thereby contributing to the progress and development of its franchise area.”
Bringing you Light, Serving you rigHT.