July 15, 2007

After criticisms on abrupt rate increase
INEC celebrates 36th foundation anniversary
36 retirees, 54 awardees honored

DESPITE the criticisms hurled at the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) for the sudden and sharp rate increase during the summer months, the franchise tax issue, and the P102 million rebate order, the cooperative still had reasons to celebrate as it reached its 36th foundation anniversary.

The celebration was held at the MMSU Teatro Ilocandia in Batac City, Ilocos Norte on July 7 as INEC officials stressed that the said issues have nothing to do with the cooperative’s anniversary.

The celebration was attended by all INEC employees, officials as well as retirees.

INEC Board President Lorenzo Rey Ruiz congratulated all the awardees and retirees in his welcome address, saying the awarding was one of the highlights of the celebration.

In so doing, Ruiz recognized and acknowledged the retirees’ contributions to the growth of the cooperative, to which they were a part for many years.

Ruiz added that INEC may have been “lambasted, maligned and insulted” in the past but the officials and employees of the cooperative are still very much intact.

Saan a maperdi ti INEC (INEC will not be destroyed) as long as it is composed of good men and women like you and me,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz also singled out Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Mariano V. Marcos II as he said he appreciates the provincial legislator for understanding INEC’s side on the sudden power rates increase last May. He added that Marcos II may have realized that INEC had nothing to do with the rate increase even if it has been criticized for it.

He further stated that the INEC board members and officials also personally attended the public forum held at the City Hall Auditorium to show that they have nothing to hide.

“And we can look at you straight in the eye and tell you that INEC is clean. INEC is well managed and INEC is not the way that is being pictured today,” Ruiz pointed out.

Meanwhile, former INEC board member and now Batac City Mayor Jeffrey Nalupta, who served as the celebration’s guest of honor and speaker, expressed his gratitude to coop officials for choosing him to become the special guest of the anniversary celebration.

He also thanked all INEC employees for their support during his incumbency as INEC board member as he assured that he will always support the cooperative in the best way he could.

“For as long as I have information at hand, I could still try to help you explain issues to the public for them to get the true picture of things and events [that are] unfolding,” Nalupta said.

He also disclosed that every time INEC is being maligned, he also feels hurt as he admitted that for him, he still belongs to the cooperative.

Nalupta resigned his INEC post after his father, former Batac Mayor Jesus R. Nalupta, withdrew his candidacy in the recently concluded election and picked him to run in his stead. As his father was then running unopposed, the younger Nalupta became the mayor of the recently converted city.

In ending, Nalupta emphasized that among all the organizations he has joined, INEC is still the best institution.

The new Batac mayor also congratulated all 54 awardees and 36 retirees—led by former INEC General Manager Romillas C. Pascual—for their accomplishments.

The retirees received gifts from employees while the awardees received plaques of appreciation.

Awardees for 20 years of service also received a cash gift of P5,000, while those who have been serving for 25 years received an award ring worth P10,000. The 30-year veterans, for their part, received a cash gift of P20,000.

During the same celebration, INEC officer-in-charge Renato Balintec announced the major accomplishments of the cooperative for the year. Among those are the energization of the Batac sub-station, the completion of the Burgos sub-station, the acquisition of a 69 KV sub-transmission lines for the province and the Lang-ayan sub-station.

According to Balintec, INEC also has immediate plans and programs, including the energization of the Burgos sub-station in order to correct the occurrence of low voltage in the area, and re-structuring.

The restructuring would include the creation of a legal office, strengthening of the Members Services Department (MSD) through the creation of a team responsible for inviting investors, and the creation of a consumer education office.

Also during the same event, Balintec, assisted by members of the board of directors and Nalupta, unveiled INEC’s new vision, mission and corporate values, as well as its website www.ineccoop.com.

On top of these, it was also announced that the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has approved the request of the INEC board for a P2,000 performance bonus for all INEC employees, including the two legal counsels.

The bonus was due to INEC’s garnering three major awards from the NEA recently: Consistent Category A+ Award, Best in Collection Efficiency, and the WESM Participation Award.

INEC has been classified as Category A+ since 1999.

Dominic B. dela Cruz

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