Bacolod, central Negros consumers back granting of franchise to NEPC

Bacolod, central Negros consumers 
back granting of franchise to NEPC

The homeowners-consumers, composed of community associations of Bacolod City and central Negros represented by their chairpersons, expressed their support for the granting of a Congressional franchise to Negros Electric and Power Corporation (NEPC).

The representatives from central Negros sponsored the house bill for the privatization of the electric power distribution in this part of the region to improve the services, and it is now pending in the Committee on Public Services in the Senate.

In a joint statement, they voiced their disappointment in the service of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) that affects their daily living.

"Ceneco, as an electric cooperative distribution utility, miserably failed to provide us with adequate power supply, resulting in massive blackouts, power outages, and brownouts. We were deprived of our need for a reliable power supply and efficient services for several decades despite paying our monthly bills religiously," according to Jesben Duday, chairperson of Parents of Purok Riverside Incorporated.

Julie Alob, the chairperson of Banago Yuhom Takers Association, also expressed dismay at the high systems loss of the electric coop, "The services of Ceneco are inadequate contrary to our expectations. We have to bear the financial burden of the systems loss incurred by Ceneco, but being passed on to our electricity rate charges".

The women's organization also summarized their burdens whenever they suffered unscheduled power interruptions.

"Electricity is a basic necessity that affects the lives of all our family members and homeowners. We need electricity to prepare meals and to get news and information from the radio and television. Without power or energy, there is no water supply for drinking, personal hygiene, and daily chores at home. The safety and security of our homes and family members are in danger without light in the night's darkness," Nona Dela Cruz, the chairperson of Tinagong Paraiso Empowered Women's Organization, said.

Mahimulaton Home Owners Association Chairperson Jun Mart Tan also expressed their frustrations over the electric cooperative's poor customer service: "Instead of comfort and convenience, we have been suffering from inconvenience and frustrations that we do not deserve as consumers due to poor consumer care."

They believe there is an urgent need to rehabilitate the infrastructure of Ceneco, and only the private distribution utility with the financial capability, technical, and managerial expertise can introduce the said change.

"We support the congressional franchise application of NEPC, hopefully, to end, if not minimize power outages and other forms of frequency disturbances," they stated in the joint statement submitted to the Senate.

The member-consumer-owners overwhelmingly approved the joint venture of Ceneco and NEPC in the plebiscite last year.

PrimElectric Holdings Incorporated, the mother company of NEPC, will purchase all the electric distribution assets of Ceneco through 70 percent cash and 30 percent share once NEPC gets the congressional franchise to operate in the cities of Bacolod, Bago, Silay, and Talisay and municipalities of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto.*


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