Tuesday , June 19, 2018

Lawmaker seeks probe into P232-M Ceneco additional charges

BACOLOD City Representative Greg Gasataya has sought an inquiry on the Central Negros Electric Cooperative’s (Ceneco) scheduled collection of P232-million worth of additional charges from its member-consumers starting October 25.

Gasataya filed on Tuesday, October 11, the House Resolution 1404 urging the Committee on Energy to look into the order of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for Kepco-Salcon Power Corp. (KSPC) and Ceneco to collect the amount.

READ: Ceneco to charge consumers P232-M starting Oct. 25

Gasataya noted that Vicente Petierre III, legal counsel of Social Action Center-Bacolod, said KSPC and Ceneco filed an application with ERC in 2013 to make consumers pay the amount incurred during the period July 26, 2011 to November 25, 2013.

The ERC approved the application of KSPC and Ceneco for approval and confirmation of the load factor-based pricing scheme on a monthly reconciliation of the unaccepted contract quantity of their supplemental agreement, with motion for the issuance of provisional authority in its decision dated June 27, 2017.

Gasataya said SAC filed a motion for reconsideration on October 4 asking ERC to issue an order setting aside the decision dated June 27 approving the application, and for a new decision to be ordered dismissing the case on the grounds that the Ceneco signatory had no authority to sign the petition and failed to comply with the rule on certification of non-forum shopping.

It added that the power produced sold by KSPC to Ceneco by way of a contract is grossly disadvantageous, hence should not burden the consumers.

Ceneco general manager Sulpicio Lagarde Jr. earlier said the P232- million in unnominated contract quantities will be passed on to the consumers on a staggered basis over 50 months, translating to an increase in monthly billing from P0.06 to P0.08 per kilowatt hour.

Gasataya said Ceneco provides electricity for 1,069,073 residents in the cities of Bacolod, Silay, Bago, Talisay and the municipalities of Salvador Benedicto and Murcia that will be greatly affected by the increase in price of electricity.

He said concerns over the impending electricity price increase have been consistently expressed by many residents and Ceneco member-consumers of Bacolod.

Gasataya added that the ERC order for Ceneco to increase prices requires legislative intervention to ensure affordability of utilities and the protection of consumers.