Empowering the Mco – The Key to Improved Services, Sustainable Operation and Solid Community-Based Support

Rainy weather, rugged, challenging and perilous terrain and anxiousness on people’s reception did not prevent CAPELCO from going to the different barangays to meet its member-consumer-owners (MCOs). In one occasion, the facilitating team has to leave its four-wheeled vehicle, take a single motorcycle and trekked dangerous terrain to reach Barangay Ganzon -- the farthest barangay in the hinterlands of the Municipality of Jamindan.

The effort is in line with the MCO organization efforts of CAPELCO designed to EMPOWER its MCOs as indispensable partner in rural electrification. More than compliance to NEAs instruction, CAPELCO see the potential of empowering its MCOs to address challenges that CAPELCO face in enhancing its services and fulfilling its mandate to serve the sitios never have been reached by electric services.

The rationale behind the organization as articulated in NEA’s Memorandum states that “To attain the new vision of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) as vanguard of sustainable rural in partnership with globally competitive and empowered member-consumer-owners (MCOs), it is necessary that MCOs are made aware of their responsibilities and obligations not just as member-consumers, but owners of their electric cooperative. Hence, they shall be educated, organized and prepared to be involved in all EC affairs affecting their interest.”

Following a home-grown conceptual framework, CAPELCO organized three (3) facilitating teams to simultaneously organize MCO Barangay Level Assemblies. Each team covers two (2) barangays a day making a daily output of six (6) barangays. To date, a total of 69 barangay MCO organization has been constituted representing about 14.58% of the total barangays in its franchise area.

 The activity constituted a multi-sectoral council in the barangay who in turn elected their Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. The activity was able to answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of the MCOs relating to billing, power outages and concerns on membership. Realizing the need to reduce systems loss and to improve collection efficiency, the MCOs committed to take active part in operational activities of CAPELCO that they can do at the barangay level.