Wennie Sancho, secretary-general of Power Watch Negros Advocate (PWNA), expressed his support for the upcoming franchise application of the Negros Electric Power Corp. (NEPC) in Congress.
“While taking the confirmation of the joint venture agreement (JVA) plebiscite results by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) as a welcome development for the consumers to avail of efficient and reliable power supply during the transition period, I’m willing to support the franchise application of NEPC in Congress,” Sancho said Monday, September 18.
He said if the franchise is approved by Congress pursuant to Franchising Power in the Electric Power Sector, Section 27 of Republic 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, it will seal the commitment of NEPC to ensure the quality, reliability, security, and affordability of the supply of electric power in its franchise area, which is the long-cherished dream of all electric consumers in Negros Island.
He added that the reliability, quality, affordability, and efficiency in the power supply industry will motivate consumers towards positive actions for a better life.
“Our support for the franchise application of NEPC is grounded on the premise that power supply is vital to our economic development,” Sancho said.
Sancho noted that the franchise application of NEPC to Congress is in compliance with the mandate of the 1987 Philippine Constitution in Article II Declaration of State Policies, Section 20, which recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector as the engine of growth in economic development.
He said Section 2(d) of the EPIRA Law declares that it is the Policy of the State to enhance the inflow of private capital into the power generation, transmission, and distribution sectors.
“Power Watch Negros is deeply concerned about the fiscal challenges ahead being faced by Central Negros Electric Cooperation (Ceneco) as a distribution utility, due to its high system losses, and regulatory challenges that may threaten its long-term viability. The franchise would exist for about 25 years,” he added.
Sancho stressed that Power Watch Negros strongly supported the ratification of the JVA.
“The spirit of our advocacy to uphold the rights and welfare of the consumers will be embodied in the franchise of NEPC, which will serve as a lasting covenant for the commonwealth of all electricity consumers,” Sancho said.
The NEA earlier confirmed the approval of the member-consumer-owners (MCOs) of Ceneco of its joint venture agreement with Prime Electric Holdings, Inc. based on the result of the plebiscite.*