An exemplar industry standards compliant Electric Distribution Utility.
A distribution utility committed to meet the challenges, attain ultimate customer satisfaction and continuously contribute to the sustainable growth of Ilocos Sur.
We operate with professionalism demonstrating ethical and spiritual standards in dealing with our member-consumers, employees and entities.
We address the needs and concerns of our member-consumers, employees and entities with compassion, respect and accountability for our actions through responsible planning and management of resources.
We strive to adhere to the industry standards through constant search for innovation.
We are committed to contribute our knowledge, skills and time to uphold the welfare of the utility and the community.
We continuously operate efficiently as one towards a common goal of delivering reasonable cost but quality service to our stakeholders.
Ilocos Sur is located along the Western Coast of Northern Luzon bounded by Ilocos Norte in the North, Abra in the Northeast, Mountain Province in the East and Benguet in the Southeast, La Union in the south and China Sea in the west. The province falls within latitudes of 16° 40' to 17° 54' north and longitudes 120° 56' east. Vigan City is the provincial capital approximately 395 kilometers by road from Manila.
The province has an area of 2, 487.30 square kilometers. It has 32 municipalities and 2 cities with a total of 768 barangays.
The birth of Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative, in. (ISECO) ushered the beginning of a new Ilocos Sur and unlike other RECs, ISECO has a unique beginning.
In December 1971, a group of concerned citizens of San Esteban met to discuss and plan for the energization of the municipality through the formal organization of the San Esteban Electric Service Cooperative with the proposed initial capital of P100, 000.00. The initiators of this move were Atty. Godofredo Corrales Sr., Dr. Leonoardo Vergara, Mrs. Nieves Vergara-Aragones, Atty. Samuel A. Abellera, Mr. Peter P. Javier and other concerned citizens of San Esteban.
One morning in early June 1973, an audience was made with Col. Pedro Dumol, then Acting Administrator of the National Electrification Administration (NEA), to discuss the organization of the proposed cooperative.
Since San Esteban was a very small town for a Rural Electric Cooperative and with the endorsement of Assistant Executive Secretary Roberto V. Reyes and Col. Pedro G. Dumol, it was decided that a rural electric cooperative will be organized which initially would cover the 2nd District of Ilocos Sur consisting of 23 municipalities under the special program of Rural Electrification under the New Society. The municipalities referred to are: Tagudin, Sta. Cruz, Sta. Lucia, Candon, Santiago, San Esteban, Sta. Maria, Narvacan, Santa, Nagbukel, Burgos, Lidlidda, San Emilio, Banayoyo, Galimuyod, Salcedo, Suyo, Sigay, Cervantes, Quirino, del Pilar, Sugpon and Alilem.
In the later part of June 1973, a meeting with all municipal mayors of Ilocos Sur and representatives from the NEA was conducted at the Provincial Capitol on Vigan to discuss about the proposed organization of a rural electric cooperative. The mayors from the first district raised their objections with regards to the initial area coverage of the REC thinking that the rural electrification program might not reach their municipalities but assurances were made by the representatives that within two years, the program would reach them.
After the meeting, a team of engineers from the NEA came to conduct the survey and feasibility study of the 23 municipalities which most of the people then were unaware of their presence and mission. They never expected that their undertakings will bring progress to them.
In September 1973, a team from the NEA headed by Mr. Efren Bautista conducted meetings in the 23 municipalities covered where they organized the Municipal Electrification Committees (MECs).
With the completion of the survey and feasibility study, the team recommended a funding of P9.364 million, which was subsequently approved by the Board of Administrators of the NEA in October 1973.
At the end of November 1973, a team from the NEA headed by Mr. Manuel O. Viloria arrived to conduct a physical inventory of assets of the electric systems to be taken over.
Initiated by Atty. Godofredo Corrales, Sr., Dr. Leonardo Vergara, Mrs. Nieves Vergara-Aragones, Atty Samuel Abellera, Mr. Peter Javier and other concerned citizens of San Esteban, Ilocos Sur, they met in December 1971 to discuss and plan the organization of an electric cooperative for their municipality.
In June 1973, they met with Col. Pedro Dumol, at that time the Acting NEA Administrator to discuss the proposed organization of an electric cooperative for San Esteban.
Since San Esteban was a very small town for a rural electric cooperative, it was decided that a rural electric cooperative be put up to cater the whole 2nd district of Ilocos Sur with twenty-three municipalities.
When the proposed plan for a rural electric coop in the 2nd district was discussed in a meeting with all the municipal mayors in the province, 1st district mayors objected the initial coverage area of the proposed REC but assurances were given that the electrification program would reach them in two years.
With the completion of the survey and feasibility study, the team of engineers from NEA recommended a funding of P9.364 million which was approved in October 1973. The capital to put up ISECO was loaned from the NEA.
Initially, the area was divided into 10 districts.
On January 24, 1974, ISECO was registered with the National Electrification Administration at the Provincial Capitol of Vigan and began its formal operation on April 16, 1974 in a rented office at Candon, Ilocos Sur. Engr. Evelito Elento from the NEA was sent as the Acting General Manager.
Before the operation of ISECO, there were already eleven private electric systems operating in the province of Ilocos Sur. On April to June of 1974, seven out of these eleven private electric systems were bought and taken over by ISECO.
September 4, 1974 marks the first energization and San Esteban was the first town to be energized. On December of the same year, His Excellency then President Ferdinand Marcos, the First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos and their children inaugurated and energized the upland towns of Banayoyo and
ISECO had a good start because the first of operation showed a net income of P64, 241 with a system loss of 23%.
Through the National Electrification Administration, ISECO was able to acquire land from Philippine Government, land property of the former Bureau of Public Highways Headquarters at Bigbiga, Santiago which became the Main Office of the cooperative up to the present.
When the NEA approved the P5million loan of ISECO, the cooperative started in the early months of 1975 the expansion of lines, which extended to the first district, fulfilling the promise during the conception of ISECO to energize the towns of first district within two years.
On March 3, 1976 the tenth private electric system was acquired by ISECO. In April 1977, Engr. Evelito Elento was recalled by NEA and Mr. Antonio Ablog, still from NEA took his post as the Acting General Manager.
In response to the clamor for proper representation in the Board of Directors by the residents of the first district, in May 1977, the Board passed a resolution redistricting the coverage area of ISECO from ten to thirteen districts.
The eleventh and last private electric system was again acquired by ISECO on September 10, 1977. VELCO which was one of the private electric systems acquired by ISECO had many lines needed to be rehabilitated. ISECO along with other RECs undertook the rehabilitation program of VELCO line which was called "Operation Silaw Task Force 20-20" at Fuerte, Caoayan (It was coded 20-20 because it started in September 20 and ends on October 20, 1977).
The first annual general membership assembly was held on October 1, 1977.
There was again change in managerial position of ISECO when Atty. Felipe Pacquing took the position as the General Manager when Acting General Manager Ablog was recalled by NEA.
Since the cooperative was only allowed to operate through a temporary franchise, ISECO applied for a permanent franchise and was granted a permanent franchise to operate for fifty years on November 27, 1978 which will be until year 2028.
ISECO's crucial year started in 1979 because it started to pay its loan amortizations to NEA. Although it was a difficult year, the cooperative was able to cope up with these difficulties.
As the lead agency in implementing bliss project of then Ministry on Human Settlements, ISECO organized the BALICAT (Bagong Lipunan Community Association of Turod) of Turod, Cabugao on March 28, 1979. This undertook the providing of houses for the residents in the area. ISECO also supported NEA projects such as TANGLAW which was tasked to provide lights and water systems to schools.
After six years of operation (1980), ISECO already connected 40, 700 houses/establishments.
To augment collections and to be nearer to electric consumers, collection offices in Candon and Narvacan were put up in the same year.
There was a time when the cost of oil was getting costly, NEA looked for alternative sources of power so they came up with the idea of putting up dendro-thermal projects. ISECO put up its dendro-thermal plant in Balugang, Burgos, Ilocos Sur. Likewise, ISECO was also able to put up a mini-hydro plant built in Poblacion, Suyo, Ilocos Sur called Dawara Mini-Hydro.
ISECO was also tagged as a Show Window of Rural Electrification in the Philippines by then NEA Deputy Administrator David Aguila because of the good services it provides to its electric consumers and because of its good operation.
In 1981, for the first time in seven years, ISECO was categorized "A" and was able to hit the one million mark in collections. It was also the year when the 1st unit of the Dawara mini-hydro project was tested. ISECO also took part in the pursuance of the agro-forest scheme which was basically the planting of ipil-ipil trees in every municipality in the province.
Unfortunate events befell ISECO when the Dawara Mini-Hydro Power Plant submerged after the landslide brought about by a super typhoon "Nitang" on August 1, 1983. It was a big loss for ISECO and due to insufficient fund, it was not rehabilitated since then.
With the death of Sen. Benigno Aquino, Sr. on August 1983, inflation rate gone up. Collection of ISECO was greatly affected, electric pilferage also became rampant, and as a result, the coop could not finance its expansion projects and could not pay its dues to the supplier on time. To solve the problems on rampant stealing of electricity, a task force was created.
The financial condition of ISECO deteriorated further in 1984 and 1985 which resorted to borrowing of funds to private individuals and on August 15, 1986, ISECO's line was disconnected by NPC due to inability to pay its dues. ISECO suffered a two-day black-out.
While there was power interruption, ISECO took advantage of it to collect accounts. The cooperative was classified category D at the end of the year. The problem got worse when GM Felipe Pacquing resigned from his post to pursuit his appointment as RTC Judge of Laoag City.
Burdened with P11.038 million liabilities to the National Power Corporation and over P17 million to NEA, Engr. Genaro Cada who took as the Acting General Manager in replacement to GM Pacquing started the recovery program of ISECO. Strengthening the collection efficiency, lowering the system loss and avoiding unnecessary expenses were his main concerns. Indeed, his ideas worked out and through proper motivation, all employees did their part to save ISECO. For these, AGM Cada was branded the "trouble shooter" of troubled RECs.
When AGM Cada was recalled by NEA, Mr. Efren Bautista took over on May 23, 1988. One of his programs was restructuring arrears of consumers which several took advantage of. With the assistance of Engr. Ferdinand Villaroel of NEA, the installation of 5MVA substation transformer was completed and became operational in 1988 which reduced the system loss by about 5%. Transformer rewinding shop was also put up. Restructuring of accounts with National Power Corporation was also undertaken. These resulted to complete turn-around from losses to gains and the coop was reclassified as category C. There was also decentralization of operations in December 1988 and January 1989 through the establishments of two additional sub-offices.
After the acquisition of more computers, the computerized billing system was revised. This made the billing system faster and more organized. And, at long last, ISECO was able to fully pay its dues to the National Power Corporation and on August 15, 1989 ISECO was again able to avail the 3% prompt payment discount from the NPC. Another 10 MVA substation transformer was also acquired to augment the power supply of the 1st district of Ilocos Sur. ISECO was reclassified category B from C.
On June 30, 1990, ISECO was able to fully pay all loan amortization to NEA including the P3.5 million short-term loan. ISECO paid a total of P4.97 million in just a month which was a record for ISECO at that time. The cooperative was also able to give an advance payment for the amortization. At the end of the year, the financial condition of the coop improved a lot.
On July 7, 1990, the 10 MVA Substation at Sto. Domingo was established to cater power demands in Magsingal, San Juan, Cabugao and Sinait and some parts of Sto. Domingo.
The Gulf War in January 1991 affected ISECO but after the war in April, the cooperative's operation went back to normal. Upland municipalities were also energized in the same year.
Considering all the improvement in the operation, ISECO was reclassified Category A, an achievement employees have long been dreaming.
One of the priority programs in 1992 was to make sure that ISECO would have good financial standing. To achieve this, ISECO launched "Operation: Disconnect Arrears" in implementing Policy 4-1G re: Policy on Disconnection. The Coop also made an amnesty program to all disconnected consumers from 1989 and prior years. Under this program, the disconnected consumers shall pay only the outstanding arrears on their electric bills, all interests, penalties and other fees were waived.
Also, in the 1st quarter of this year, 10 MVA substation was acquired and was put up at Ayudante, Candon to cater the power demands of consumers in the municipalities of Candon, Galimuyod, Salcedo, Sta. Lucia, Sta. Cruz, Tagudin and Alilem.
On February 11, 1992, the upland municipality of Alilem was energized.
In the third quarter of 1992, another 5 MVA substation was purchased and put up in the Sto. Domingo site to complement the existing 10 MVA that supplies the 5 municipalities in the first district of Ilocos Sur.
As part of the Coop program to intensify collection, a raffle draw was conducted wherein all prompt payers were automatically included in the draw. Prizes were pails full of grocery items.
In 1994, GM Bautista initiated the purchase of rewinding machineries and construction of the transformer rewinding shop at the Coop Main Office. This gave savings to ISECO.
In 1996, another tough man and a true leader took the post as ISECO General Manager in the person of Cesar G. Gironella. He started the wood pole production program-employees and BAPAs were given mahogany seedlings to plant. There were also many seedlings planted within the Coop compound. Later if these trees would be ready for harvest, they would be bought by the Coop in a lesser price.
In 1997, the priority program was the campaign against electric pilferers. To create awareness against stealing of electricity, Coop Management sought the help of the media. In March 6, media practitioners were invited to attend a seminar on RA 7832 or the Anti-Pilferage Act of 1994.
GM Gironella also emphasized in his management to exercise frugal spending and cost-cutting measures to lessen the administrative expenses which worked because at the year-end, the Coop saved a considerable amount.
In 1998, many of the electric pilferers were apprehended which was a good indication that the anti-pilferage campaign was working. To further encourage member-consumers to be more vigilant, incentive given to informants was increased. The Technical Services Department also conducted the system upgrading and rehabilitation of lines. These programs resulted to the reduction of the system loss.
In 2000, the Silaw Mo, Sagut Ko program was launched. In this program, ISECO gave house-wiring materials, service drops, kWh meters, hired electricians to install wirings inside the house and shoulders the costs of tapping and pre-requites to be paid before tapping such as membership fee, IDs, etc. Beneficiaries were indigent families. For that year, 33 families were benefited. (This program continued until 2008. In 2009 ISECO implemented giving free kWh meters to all new connections).
In 2001, the upland municipality of Del Pilar was energized. ISECO Vigan Sub-office permanent building was at last constructed. In July 3 and 4, tragedy hit Ilocos Sur when Super Typhoon Feria (the typhoon that caused the fall of Banaoang Bridge in the municipality of Bantay) traversed in Northern Luzon leaving Ilocos Sur in total darkness. More than 300 poles were downed and uprooted, kilometers of lines and service drops snapped, several transformers were busted and about thousand of kWh meters were broken and were penetrated with water. On the 5th of July, all crew began the restoration work and on that day, as soon as the power from NPC was restored, ISECO gradually energized the backbone lines and some town proper. Spirit of cooperation engulfed as all employees and coop member-consumers worked together to restore power. The cost of damage was about P8M and about P9M lost in revenue.
Through the collaborative effort of all employees and member-consumers, the coop immediately recovered from the losses of year 2001, in fact in 2002, ISECO was awarded as One of the Top Performing Electric Cooperatives in the Philippines (for 2001 operation).
In 2003, the Coop implemented rate reduction of P0.08752/kWh pursuant to ERC directive due to the loan condoned by PSALM (Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management). In November billing, read and bill system was also implemented. The read and bill system phased out the conventional way of reading and billing of kWh meters. In the read and bill system, meter readers use Psion computers. Breakdown and computation of rate for the current month is already programmed in the Psion computer. Upon reading the kWh meter, the meter reader could immediately print the bill. The unbundled rate, account name and address, the total bill to be paid and the name of the meter reader are stated in the billing statement. Consumers could immediately pay their bills in the nearest ISECO offices in their area. The nine-day grace period was also implemented, which means that after the reading, the consumer is given nine days before the due date to pay their bills. Beyond the nine days, a corresponding penalty for late payment is already instigated. The penalty was basically to discipline consumers to do their responsibility by promptly paying their bills.
In 2004, the effect of the implementation of read and bill system was felt. Since most consumers became aware of the penalty for late payment, they now started to paying their bills on time to avoid being penalized. On the part of the Coop, it was no longer difficult to collect fund to be paid to the power supplier (formerly National Power Corporation now San Miguel Electric Corporation) and for the transmission company (formerly Transmission Company now National Grid Corporation). The Coop lessened its administrative expenses because there was no longer a need to hire for collectors. Meter Readers are now utilized for other duties after the reading period.
In 2005, the rate reduction of P0.08752/kWh implemented in 2003 was raised to P0.1408/kWh for residential consumers, which was refunded through deducting the amount on the electric bill. Other types of consumers such as commercial type, public buildings, irrigation, etc. were also given a corresponding rate to be refunded.
This was also the year when the TOU rate system of NPC was implemented. The TOU (Time of Use) is real-time rate charging of electricity. There are corresponding rate per hour, taking for example, electricity is cheaper during off peak hours (during those hours when only few are using electricity, like midnight or dawn) and electricity is more expensive during peak hours(during those hours when many are expected to use electricity, like in noon time and from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.). Somehow, ISECO was able to save because of that rate system.
In this year, unfortunately, ISECO was included in the implementation of the EVAT (Expanded Value Added Tax). Since then, all transactions made to the Coop like paying bills, sales of service drops, sales of meter seals and other gadgets, penalties, service fees and others are added with 12% EVAT. Of the total power purchased from the supplier, its tax (EVAT) are to be paid in full to the government whether the Coop could collect it or not from the consumers which makes it more difficult to cope; as for a fact, many consumers do not pay their bills on time. Therefore, the taxes supposed to be collected from them will be paid by the Coop in advance to the BIR.
On December 9 of the same year, ISECO applied for renewal of franchise through a public hearing conducted at ISECO Main Office Board room, Bigbiga, Santiago, Ilocos Sur. The Coop applied for another twenty (20) years of franchise.
In 2007, on January 12, ISECO signed with the TRANSCO (Transmission Company, state-owned company) re-divestment of the Sub-transmission assets which involves the sale of San Esteban to Narvacan junction old 115 KV line, the San Esteban to Narvacan Tower 21, take off to ISECO Sub-station, and the Bantay to Sto. Domingo 69 KV line TL with a total number of 420 structures and span of 42.03 circuit kilometers, with a total sale value of P48.7 M.
A permanent building was also constructed for Sta. Cruz Sub-office.
In this year, there was again rampant stealing of electricity so the Coop pushed through in continuing the meter clustering program.
2008 was a successful year for the Cooperative because it was able to maintain its A+ category: excellent collection efficiency and lower system loss. A permanent building was also put up for Cabugao Sub-office. The San Juan Sub-office which was being rented was then transferred to the Cabugao Sub-office.
During this year, the issue of whether the Coop should register with CDA or remain under the roof of NEA was a hot discussion amongst the member-consumers. Management benchmarked with other cooperatives; they conducted extensive study and research. After weighing all the facts, Management decided to stay with NEA because the NEA had taken good care of the ECs under its roof and so far, the Coop is so much satisfied with how the NEA manages the ECs. Management sent employees to educate member-consumers of the pros and cons in registering with the CDA/staying with the NEA.
The Coop also launched the book outreach program titled, "Quenching the thirst for knowledge." This program was in collaboration with Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, Inc. (Kauai, Hawaii). Aside from reference books, other learning kits such as coloring books and activity books were distributed. ISECO also gave colored TVs and DVD players as additional learning tools for pupils. Six public elementary schools were initial beneficiaries.
In 2009, the Cooperative celebrated its 35th Founding Anniversary.
On January 26 a Prompt Payer Raffle Promo was conducted wherein all consumers who promptly paid their bills from January 2008-December 2008 were automatically included in the draw. 600 winners were picked and were given original Compact Fluorescent Lamps.
In May of this year, the Energy Regulatory Commission conducted an RSEC-W (Wheeling Rates) hearing in ISECO Main Office regarding its current rate. It was assessed that the current rate of ISECO had not been changed for 10 years and unfortunately in 2003, its rate was reduced. The Commission found out that the current rate is no longer sufficient to effectively run its operation. ERC decision has not yet been released.
In April, General Manager Cesar G. Gironella reached his 60th birthday, however, due to exemplary performance, Management initiated a petition to the Board to extend his services (beyond 60 years old, exemplary performing general managers could still be extended in their service). The Board, through a resolution, extended his service as General Manager; this resolution was approved by the NEA.
NEA's 40th Anniversary, entitled "Greenlight@40", aims to create environmental awareness and to relive the colorful evolution of rural electrification program in the Philippines, ISECO conducted four programs which were: tree-planting activities, massive tapping to new connection applicants (in contribution to the 40,000, 000 house connection program of NEA), Brigada Electric Check (checking of wiring connections of schools to ensure safety) and story-telling of the conceptualization and evolution of the rural electrification program.
The Coop again continued the book outreach program, "Quenching the Thirst for Knowledge" wherein more than twenty public elementary and high schools were given books and learning kits.
In that year, the NEA also released a directive to all ECs regarding the new qualification for those who would be running for Board Directorship, which is to attend at least two Annual General Membership Assembly within five years prior to the filing of certificate of candidacy. The implementation date of this directive would be January 1, 2012, so the Coop immediately conducted massive information regarding this through the Coop newsletter, radio stations and meetings with the member-consumers.
Likewise in 2009, the Coop implemented giving free kWh meters to all types of new connections.
December 28, 2009 marks another milestone for the Cooperative because this was the day when Dinwede West, Cervantes, the last barangay unreached by electricity was energized. Ilocos Sur has now energized 100% barangays.
ISECO is an electric distribution utility with franchise area covering the whole province of Ilocos Sur with 32 municipalities and 2 cities namely: Alilem, Banayoyo, Bantay, Burgos, Cabugao, Caoayan, Cervantesm Galimuyod, G. Del Pilar, Lidlidda, Magsingal, Nagbukel, Narvacan, Quirino, San Emilio, San Esteban, San Emilio, San Ildefonso, San Juan, San Vicente, Santa, Santiago, Salcedo, Sigay, Sinait, Sta. Catalina, Sta, Cruz, Sta. Maria, Sta. Lucia, Sto. Domingo, Sugpon, Suyo, Tagudin, Vigan City and Candon City.