Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Questionable Dealings Lead To Dismissal
by Ambrosio R. Villorente

For having found “guilty of grave misconduct for abuse of authority prejudicial to the interest of the electric cooperative and its member-consumers”, Mr. Benjie Tocol was dismissed. Mr. Tocol was the manager of legal division, Aklan Electric Cooperative (AKELCO). He was also vice chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee of AKELCO.

On the basis of the Internal Audit Report which has found questionable dealings with AKELCO’s project contractor, the Board of Directors of AKELCO conducted a formal investigation on Mr. Tocol. After the investigation, AKELCO Board found that Mr. Tocol “failed to maintain the required ethical standard in his dealings with SCUBATECH which is AKELCO’s project contractor which was “before and after the contract was awarded”, the Board found.

Delayed Electrical Bill Payment

On the other hand, the Board found “Tocol’s delay to pay his electric bills and in a very low kilowatt hour consumption. This delayed payment of electric bill is adverse to the AKELCO’s policy “that all its member-consumers must pay their monthly electric bills on time.” This hampered the collection efficiency of AKELCO. Tocol, being a high ranking official of AKELCO was expected to pay his bill on time. He was expected to be role model which he failed. He was expected to lead the way which he did not.

While the electric service connections of any consumer member who is delayed in paying its bill is cut off, Tocol’s electric service was not. This is a bad precedent. Hence, Tocol does not deserve to stay longer with AKELCO.

On the hiring of security guards, Tocol was questioned over the hiring of additional security guard without prior approval from the Board. AKELCO has 42 security guards. However, three (3) more guards were “hired upon Tocol’s order”.

The AKELCo Board believed Tocol’s action without the Board’s consent constituted conduct prejudicial to the interest of the cooperative and abuse of authority.

The National Electrification Administration approved AKELCO Board recommendation dated May 19, 2015 to dismiss Mr. Benjie Tocol from the service as Manager, Legal Division, AKELCO.

Conflict Of Interest

One of the revenue earning offices of the Philippines is now being headed by a man alleged to have conflict of interest. Mr. Alberto Lina is the newly appointed Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs. However, as soon as he begun discharging his functions in the Bureau of Customs, objections and criticism against Lina started coming in.

Some of the top officials of the Bureau of Customs are at odds with him. Several sectors of society are against him. They alleged Lina is running the office of the Bureau of Customs while several of his business are doing business with the Bureau of Customs.

He deserves to quit the Bureau of Customs and attend to his business to avoid problems.

Tourism on Pag-Asa

The Department of National Defense has approved the Town of Kalayaan (Pag-Asa Island), Palawan to allow commercial planes to use the runway on Pag-Asa to bring tourists to the island. The municipality has the plan to develop tourism which will need an inter agency effort.

LGU Pagasa recommends to demilitarize the airstrip in Pag-asa which is now exclusively used by the military. The availability of the airstrip for civilian is crucial to municipal tourism plan. 
It is hoped, tourists will start coming in next year using brand new motor boat. /MP 

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