Department of Energy exec scored over ‘conflict of interest’

TWO lawmakers have accused an official of the Department of Energy (DoE) of alleged conflict of interest.

Party-list Reps. Francisco Datol Jr. of Senior Citizens and Teodoro Montoro of Aasenso filed House Resolution (HR) No. 2577 asking the House committees on energy and on good government and public accountability to look into the alleged conflict of interest of Energy Assistant Sec. Redentor Delola.

Datol and Montoro alleged that Delola committed “serious irregularities in the performance of his function.”

As assistant secretary for power industry management, Delola advises the DoE on policies and guidelines, and coordinates the functions of several offices of the energy department that were placed under him.

The two lawmakers said there is “concentration of power” in Delola, a situation that “runs counter to the mandate of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) in privatizing the power industry and devolving functions to the appropriate government agencies.”

According to them, Delola worked for many years for the Aboitiz group companies, which is involved in power generation before joining the DoE.

“There are reports that Assistant Secretary Delola is biased in favor of power suppliers. An immediate investigation is required,” they added, but there are no specifics in the resolution on the official’s alleged bias.

The two lawmakers also said that Delola’s powers overlap those of the National Electrification Administration (NEA), which the law specifically authorizes to “supervise the management and operation of all electric cooperatives in the country.”

They said that such alleged excess of authority violates the law creating the NEA and the Epira.