By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 31, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is seeking tax exemptions for the 121 electric cooperatives (EC) from the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act.
NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong said they are currently working with rural electrification advocates from both the executive and legislative branches of government for this initiative.
He said other ECs registered under the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) enjoy tax exemption privileges per the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991.
NEA is trying to get the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) support on its position that the same law could be applied to power coops under the NEA management too.
“We are looking forward to have the favorable opinion of the DOJ that the electric cooperatives registered with NEA be tax-exempt as well,” Masongsong said.
Apart from getting the DOJ on board, the NEA chief said Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate committee on energy and his counterpart in the lower house, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, have been involved in these discussions along with the Departments of Energy and Finance.
According to Chapter 3, Section 13 of RA 10531, the law governing the NEA, all non-stock and non-profit rural energy distribution utilities are entitled to preferential rights granted to cooperatives under the Local Government Code of 1991 and other related laws.
The law also states that “as a further incentive, the NEA may prioritize the grant of incentives in favor of electric cooperatives that are managed effectively and efficiently and comply consistently with its mandates and directives.”