ZANECO Board President removed for ‘grave misconduct'

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) Board of Administrators on Tuesday, November 24, removed the President of the Board of Directors of the Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative (ZANECO) for “grave misconduct.” NEA is sending an official this week to serve the decision.

NEA also warned another ZANECO Board of Directors member that he is defying NEA laws by serving as director despite being over-aged.

Last November 23, ZANECO Institutional Services Division Manager Chochi Quizo received an advanced copy of the NEA Board of Administrators’ decision on the complaint he filed against ZANECO Board President Uhlan Calasang.

Quizo filed the complaint after discovering that when Uhlan Calasang ran for a second term on September 16, 2015, he failed to inform ZANECO that his wife, Barbara Rito-Calasang, was a public official, who was designated Dapitan City’s General Services Officer IV on January 24, 2012.

Rito-Calasang had a salary grade of 22. According to NEA rules, a member-consumer of an electric cooperative is disqualified from running for Director if his spouse has a salary grade of 16 or above.

Rito-Calasang had also been removed from her office by the Ombudsman on January 30, 2018, also for grave misconduct.

In its decision, the NEA Board of Administrators said Uhlan Calasang acted in bad faith by consistently receiving per diems, honoraria, incentives, and other benefits due to being a ZANECO director.

“Ultimately, these acts of the Respondent are indicia of corruption on his part as he kept on receiving the...emoluments, despite knowledge of the fact that he is not entitled to receive them,” the decision stressed.

The NEA Board of Administrators also disqualified Calasang from reinstatement or reemployment in any electric cooperative, disqualified him from running as director in any electric cooperative, and forfeited his monetary benefits.

Meanwhile, ZANECO Director Andrewlito Orillosa continued working after snubbing a “show cause” order from NEA on why he should be allowed to stay as member of the ZANECO Board of Directors.

In a letter to Orillosa last August 28, NEA warned that he had turned 71 years old last October 27, 2019. The mandatory retirement age in the Philippines is 65.

NEA cited Section 16 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10531 that says, “An (electric cooperative) director or officer, in order to remain as such, must possess all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications throughout his/her term of or tenure of office.” –