Seeking to avert sinking into dire financial straits, the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) has secured permission from the provincial government for its personnel to resume monthly meter reading and collection schedules, as long as bill payments will be on a voluntary basis.
Acting Governor Shirley A. Abundo issued an advisory to all mayors and barangay captains as well as all member-consumers, municipal health officers and the Philippine National Police to assist or facilitate the cooperative’s activities in the barangays, provided that the protocols on Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) are observed.
All involved authorized FICELCO personnel shall secure a medical certificate from the MHO that he/she is physically fit and negative of COVID-19 symptoms, wear face masks, and observe the required physical distancing from the member-consumer.
In his letter request dated April 13, 2020, General Manager Raul V. Zafe said that the cooperative’s financial condition has been severely disrupted by the implementation of the estimated March billing, the 30-day payment extension, and the cancellation of penalty charges on late payments and power disconnections, as well as the line restoration expenses incurred by FICELCO following typhoon Tisoy in December 2019.
“We ensure and guarantee that we will only accept bill payments from consumers who voluntarily and who are willing to pay and not demand payment as advised by the government,” he stated, stressing that this will ensure FICELCO will have the necessary resource for operational effectivity and efficiency.