THE Utilities Consumers Alliance of Negros (UCAN) will help address the complaint raised by Mila Evangelista, a consumer from Barangay Taloc, Bago City, during the Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) held in Bacolod City Saturday, Fr. Ernie Larida said Monday.

"I know that the complaint was valid and we might help her find a solution," said Larida, who is the director of the Diocese of Bacolod Social Action Center.

It was when Fr. Larida, president of UCAN, took the floor during the open forum that the woman was able to ventilate her grievance against Ceneco as her bill which originally amounted to only P80 significantly increased to more or less P10,000 with the imposition of penalties and surcharges.

Her being emotional also drew the anger of Director Vicente Tan who apparently spoke unfavorable remarks against the said consumer.

Ceneco general manager Chuchie Destriza issued a press statement on the matter.

It is how Ceneco treats all issues and transactions of every member-consumer. Her case is not an exception to the rules, she said.

Records of the Bago Field Office (BFO) show that as of June 6, Evangelista had a total outstanding accounts amounting to P8,540.98 which consists of four unpaid bills, including P7,207.84 accumulated billing as a result of meter replacement in October 27, 2014,which will be settled until May 2016.

Evangelista first settled with Unice Pasaylo, BFO head of Consumer Services Section last May 28, and both agreed that she will pay her bills as scheduled.

“Based on our policies, she is really due to meter removal. However, possible arrangements were made yet she still didn’t comply,” said by Hernani Veniegas Jr., acting area manager of Ceneco BFO.

Based on the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers, all consumers are obliged to settle their monthly electricity bills nine days after reading of kilowatt hour meter.

“Since 2012, she already had been disconnected, how come she still got power and no actual reconnection was made in our office. For us at Ceneco, we did all the possible humanitarian settlements with her but we still should strictly follow and implement our coop’s rules and policies and protect as much as possible, the interest of the general member-consumer,” Veniegas added.(CNC)