BACOLOD

Consumer group evaluates technical, financial capabilities of coops

IN THE bid to protect the interest of the power consumers, Power Watch Negros is in the process of evaluating the financial and technical capabilities of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) and Gamboa Hermanos Multi-Purpose Cooperative in terms of their capacity to provide a dependable and efficient electricity power distribution system in Negros Island, its official said.

Wennie Sancho, secretary general of Power Watch Negros, said they are giving primordial attention to House Bill 3962, an act granting Gamboa Hermanos Farm Workers Multi-Purpose Cooperative a franchise to construct, install, establish, operate, own, manage and maintain distribution system for

conveyance of electric power to the end-users in the island of Negros and for other purposes.

Sancho said electricity is an essential basic service that cannot be denied to people and for that reason, access and reliable service had been declared as major policy objectives by international bodies and governments.

"Unfortunately, policy changes failed to address the crisis of the power industry as problems of escalating electricity rates and diminishing supply continue to hound the member-consumers [of Ceneco] with power outages threatening to throw us back into literally dark age," he added.

Power Watch Negros on July 16 sent a letter to Ceneco, a distribution utility that currently caters to the largest number of electric consumers in the province, from cities of Bacolod, Talisay, Silay and Bago, and towns of Murcia and Salvador Benedicto.

For purposes of evaluation, the consumer group said it is asking a concrete action plan of the cooperative to bring down is power costs by the end of 2020 and 2021.

It also asked for Ceneco's concrete action plan to eliminate the brownouts in the area within 2021.

Other information the group has requested from the utility were complete action plan to improve the overall service to the member-consumers; concrete action plans of strengthening the management and organization; and concrete action plan to raise financing to improve its distribution lines, substations, equipment and systems loss.

"Power Watch Negros is requesting Ceneco for the release of these information on August 12 which will the basis of our position on this crucial issue," he added.


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