House probe shows dubious co-op practice

Salaries of employees of the Isabela Electric Cooperative have been illegally deducted for payments to the One-EC MCO Network Foundation, it was found during the joint hearing of the House committee on energy and the committee on North Luzon growth quadrangle.

According to Emilia de Guzman, Supervising Labor and Employment officer from the Department of Labor and Employment, the illegal deduction violated the Department of Labor and Employment Advisory 11 Series of 2014 on Non-Interference in the Disposal of Wages and Allowable Deductions.

The DoLE advisory stated that employers may only deduct from employee’s wages those that are authorized by law, including insurance premiums, or if the deductions are with written authorization of employees.

Forced deductions

A joint affidavit filed by ISELCO-I employees revealed that without their consent, rank and file employees were being deducted P100 monthly, supervisors P150, department heads P200, general managers P500, and the board of directors P200.

According to the affidavit, the forced remittances have reached a total of P1,549,750, which were collected from 2019 until 2022.

Files retrieved from the Securities and Exchange Commission show that One-EC MCO Network Foundation was established by officials of various electric cooperatives across the country, including PHILRECA Party-list Rep. Presley de Jesus and APEC Party-list Rep. Sergio Dagooc, who represent electric cooperatives and member-consumer-owners.

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