“WE ARE not sowing unnecessary fear among member-consumers. This is part of the democratic process. The people have the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

This was the reaction of Wennie Sancho, secretary-general of Power Watch Negros Advocates Inc. (PWNA), Thursday, January 26, after National Electrification Administration (NEA) Administrator Antonio Mariano Almeda earlier appealed to the consumer groups in Bacolod City to practice and do things with circumspect.

“It’s stated on the constitutional right to air our grievances if we have a complaint. But to picture us sowing confusion, I think it’s not proper because PWNA is a watchdog, not a rumor-mongers,” Sancho said.

He said they are only complaining about Central Negros Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ceneco) and they have freedom of expression.

“Matters of public concern should not be withheld from the consumers,” he added.

Almeda earlier appealed to the consumer groups to practice and do things with circumspect because they might just be sowing unnecessary fear and intrigue among member-consumers.

This, after PWNA earlier urged NEA to declare Ceneco as an “ailing cooperative.”

Almeda said the generation rate of Ceneco right now is “very much acceptable.”

“I’ve been to several regional cooperatives. The rate of Ceneco has right now is very much acceptable. That is very much acceptable already considering the ongoing global crisis for fossil fuel and the limited supply of the renewal energy source in this country,” he said.

Sanco countered that NEA should consult the proper people and not the people in Ceneco because all indications will show that Ceneco is an ailing cooperative.

He said several issues and concerns will give credence to the urgent call of the Ceneco consumers that this electric cooperative must be declared an ailing cooperative by the NEA, in line with NEA Memorandum No.2020-049 dated October 8, 2020.

“We respect NEA and they should also respect our rights to criticize Ceneco. We are not here to destroy Ceneco, we are here to strengthen and build up Ceneco,” he added.

Sancho disclosed that they have not received yet a formal reply from NEA.

Meanwhile, Sancho will hold a press conference Friday, January 27, with the Save the Sugar Industry Movement (SAVE-SIM) along with the five major labor federations and General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa) at the Negros Press Club.*