Group taps PPI for consumer education initiatives

POWER Watch Negros Advocates Inc. (PWNA) has tapped the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) for a stronger consumer education program in the bid to empower member-consumers of electric cooperatives.

On November 10, PWNA secretary-general Wennie Sancho met with PPI executive director Ariel Sebellino at the latter’s office in Metro Manila for a small group forum on consumer education as the key to empowerment.

Sancho said they are banking on the help of PPI, the oldest professional media organization in the country, to further educate consumers.

The PPI has included consumers of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) in its education program next year, he said.

“Through this, consumers will not only understand their rights and welfare but most importantly be aware that they are paying unutilized power supply,” Sancho added.

During the meeting, Sancho said PPI stressed that consumers have the duty to “ask” why their electricity bills are higher than just plainly reading it.

Consumers have to understand what power supply contract is as well as the “terms” representing those being paid by consumers, he added.

Among these “terms” include the generation rate adjustment mechanism (Gram), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities (Psalm) especially the obligation of consumers to it, and other charges like systems loss.

The group is challenging Ceneco to embark on a serious initiative for consumer protection and welfare through an education program.

“Power Watch is enthusiastic as we seemingly forged an alliance with PPI that will strengthen our consumers’ advocacy especially against overcontracting,” Sancho added.
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