Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

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The din of outrage and uproar had filled the Naga City Gymnasium last June 1 as member-consumers of CASURECO II congregated and vented their ire and frustration over the power cooperative's unannounced, unexplained, and unjustified power rate hike. At the center of the maelstrom was CASURECO II's jacking up of the cost of electricity from P7.00 per kilowatt-hour (KWH) to P12.28 for the month of May, without consultation from the consumers and without prior announcement.  The ensuing effect was member-consumers being stunned and jolted by electric bill costs increased almost by 100%.

At a time when many are at their wits' end to secure money for children's tuition and school expenses at the start of classes this June, CASURECO II's leadership unwisely-to say the least-decided to further burden the public. And in a treacherous fashion too.

This June 11, the power cooperative's OIC-General Manager Jane Barrameda (no stranger to controversy), is supposed to provide a response to the resolutions issued by the June 1 General Assembly of the cooperative's members. Already, we hear that in order to placate the outraged members Mrs. Barrameda would supposedly announce a reduction of P 1.00 per KWH. If this were true, then such a pittance offered to the furious public can be imagined to be met with frightening consequences. Such a gesture from the cooperative's present leadership, if indeed the "rumor" be true, is inadequate and poorly thought out. No, something more drastic is required.

While Barrameda's stay at the helm had survived the efforts to oust her previously, we believe this time, her time is up. This recent incident under her watch is too grave to forgive. It is too dastardly.

One of the prepared resolutions approved by the General Assembly of June 1 was the preventive suspension of Mrs. Barrameda, Board President Atty. Nixon Tabora, and other Board Directors, on the basis of deliberate mismanagement and the grave abuse of discretion in the discharge of their functions. This resolution must be effected immediately. The situation of CASURECO II has reached its breaking point.

For the good of the public, for the survival of the power cooperative, those responsible for the unjustified and illegal power rate increase must be removed from office and be replaced by ones who would truly pursue the interests of the cooperative's members and not those of the Board's or the General Manager's. In a word, it is time for some heads to roll.