Tomorrow, we go to the polls, for the third time in a row in one year. First was the national election last May, then the Comelec-bungled barangay election last month.
But tomorrow will be the selection of board of directors of the Camarines Sur II electric cooperative for resident-consumers of the nine towns of Siruma, Tinambac, Calabanga, Bombon, Canaman, Magarao, Milaor, Minalabac, Pili and Naga city.
Th coverage area has been divided into ten districts with Siruma and Tinambac combined as one and the city of Naga with two. Each district is allotted a director. A Casureco II director need only be a member and has no monetary investment whatsoever on the cooperative.
Tomorrow’s exercise of selecting directors from within the member-consumers is seen by many as the sole event that can change into a positive course beneficial for the cooperative’s stakeholders-consumers of the coverage area.
It must be recalled that not too many weeks ago, the consumers literaly rose in unison clamoring for some explanation and justice on the insane way the cooperative came out with exhorbitant power bill majority can not afford or willing to pay.
The Camarines Sur II electric cooperative (CAURECO II), with its headquarters at barangay Del Rosario in the city of Naga is one of the most viable and money-earners among the electric cooperatives of the country.
Electric coops were envisioned to fast track the energization of all the barangays and sitios of their respective coverage area. It is supposed to be a “cooperative movement,” an entity more of upholding and being of service to its members.
Instead, in the process, the cooperative is milking the members dry of their hard-earned money for the purpose of making a killing in profit. But if the cooperative realizes a profit, shouldn’t it be returned to the members as kind of patronage refund, or goodwill, or whatever?
The Casureco II is a fresh and fertile breeding ground for greed of money. Newly elected directors come in idealistic, clean and energized to sweep the cooperative for reform and then some end up the same clone of the previous set in due time. Guess what money can do.
There had been many sets of directors and always, we read about their squabbles and differences because of the cooperative’s financial resources which in the first place were neither theirs.
Remember, they come into the coop headquarters with not a single centavo out of their pocket as investment. We have seen directors come and go since 1977, and what did consumers get in return?
Directors become demi-gods that the consumers have to please instead of the other way around. They should serve the members instead of serving first their personal vested interest.
As early as this week, we have learned that candidates for the posts are now buying votes of member-consumers for P1,000 each. What is that eagerness to becoming a board that one has to spend that much.
Because the winner has only eyes for the monetary windfall after the election once they occupy the august room of the board of directors in Del Rosario.
(I was reminded that during the national and barangay election, votes were being bought for P5,000. Such a cheap price, when what was involved was one’s self-respect, reputation and future.)
And check this out. Politicians always help themselves get involved into the fray. They are the puppeteers that make the directors their ambitious marionettes.
All electric cooperatives are “monitored” by the National Electrification Administration in Quezon city.