BACOLOD

Ceneco Board open to dialogue with consumer group

THE Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco), particularly its board, is open to a dialogue with the consumer group, one of its directors said.

Director Robert Javellana, representing District 6, said talking with the consumers would allow them to know what is happening in the cooperative.

Also, it would enable them to raise their concerns, Javellana said.

"Being part of the Board, I don't see any problem talking with the consumers," he said, adding that "other members of the board, I think, are also open to such dialogue."

Power Watch Negros secretary general Wennie Sancho earlier said they recently wrote a letter to the cooperative's president Dwight Carbon considering the "unresolved electric power problems such as expensive electricity rates and power outages affecting productivity."

Sancho said the purpose of the meeting is to open the line of communication between the member-consumers and management to address problems to improve their relationship.

"The role of Power Watch Negros is to serve as watchdog to ensure that the services of Ceneco are efficient for its members and their rights are not violated," he added.

During the dialogue, Power Watch Negros will again raise the issue of "power supply over contracting" among Electric Power Purchase Agreements (Eppa) allegedly by Ceneco and its power suppliers.

Also, the consumers group leader earlier requested for the revival of transparency meetings which was implemented during the rime of former Ceneco president Roy Cordova.

"It was stopped without prior notice," Sancho said.

Javellana pointed out that every president of the board has his own programs.

Though, the cooperative remains transparent even without the transparency meeting, he said.

"Ceneco Board is transparent, we are open to discussion on the concerns our consumers," the director added.

Ceneco caters to the largest number of electric consumers in the province, including cities of Bacolod, Bago, Talisay and Silay, and towns of Murcia and Salvador Benedicto.

Power Watch Negros has slammed the "one bill policy" implemented by Ceneco, citing its adverse effects to the lower income groups, including informal sectors.

Sancho, also the secretary general of General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa), said the move of the electric cooperative lacks sufficient consultation with member-consumers.

"It is untimely and inappropriate when consumers would suffer disconnection due to the policy during Christmas time," he added.

Javellana said if the consumers will not promptly pay their bills, like paying it the next month, the cooperative will also suffer.

"It has something to do with the viability of the utility," the director said, adding that "it was actually just a reminder since the policy has already been implemented not just on Christmas time."


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