NEGROS Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said Sunday, May 28, that all mayors in localities served by Central Negros Electric Cooperative are supporting the proposed joint venture agreement between the distribution utility and More Power Corporation.

Ferrer made the revelation after about 1,000 barangay leaders endorsed the JVA in a forum held at the STI West Negros University gym.

Ferrer said the barangay leaders will disseminate to their respective constituent/consumers the advantages of the JVA per the presentation of More Power.

"The consumers have already realized the bad situations they are experiencing under Ceneco due to the massive power interruptions/brownouts that are happening," Ferrer said.

He said the sentiments are heard from the consumers in Bago City, Murcia, Talisay City, Silay City, Don Salvador Benedicto and Bacolod City, that's why all the mayors welcome the JVA

"All of them agree because they see and experience brownouts with Ceneco and its inefficient services. What we can hear most are complaints against Ceneco," Ferrer pointed out.

"Good service and immediate response to problems, that's the most important to us consumers," he added.

Meanwhile, Roel Castro, More Power president and chief executive officer, said they hope to hold a referendum for the JVA within this year.

"We need a vote of 50 percent plus one of members of good standing," Castro said.

The referendum will be determined and decided by the Ceneco Board and the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

He said that the backing of the barangay officials is an initial acceptance, "but we need to make more efforts because we need not only the approval of barangay officials but the whole more than 200,000 consumers of Ceneco," Castro said.

He said More Power will make a presentation of the proposed JVA before Bacolod City officials on June 5.

He also revealed that they are eyeing an investments asset purchase of P1.7 billion with Ceneco, depending how much is the total distribution assets.

"We ready P2 billion, and a total investment was pegged at P3.7 to P4 billion with the JVA," Castro also said.*