Labor leader calls for solidarity to address power problem

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL. Power Watch Negros Secretary-General Wennie Sancho sits as member-observer of the Bids and Awards Committee of Central Negros Electric Cooperative. (File photo)
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL. Power Watch Negros Secretary-General Wennie Sancho sits as member-observer of the Bids and Awards Committee of Central Negros Electric Cooperative. (File photo)

Labor advocate and Power Watch convenor Winnie Sancho is urging for solidarity to address the power problem.

"On this significant day, the celebration of International Labor Day, we recall, the struggle of the consumers-workers, from bill shocks, brownouts, red and yellow alerts, and pass-on charges from anomalous power supply agreements. We are suffering from regular power outages every day and night depriving us of the quality of life that we deserve," Sancho said in a statement issued on Tuesday, April 30.

He pointed out that amid these deplorable conditions, “we are anxiously waiting for the granting of the legislative franchise from the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines, that was applied for by the Negros Electric and Power Corp.(NEPC) to take over the operations of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco).

He added that they had manifested support for NEPC along with their call for a distribution utility that shall empower the consumers. “The goal of NEPC is to ensure a unified and coordinated effort in Negros Island, towards just power transition and energy democracy along with negotiating and concluding power supply agreements that are not only attractive to energy players but most importantly, beneficial to electricity consumers,” he said.

“The purpose of NEPC to level up and intensify the operation of Ceneco is no longer a distant vision but is feasible and attainable today with the end in view of having an efficient, reliable, and continuous power supply committed to putting primacy on what the consumer wants, instead of profit. In the empowerment of its consumers, NEPC shall give them a meaningful venue to voice out their critical concerns, recommendations, and alternative solutions in the decision-making process. From these democratic spaces will arise a new, empowered, and productive consumer to meet the challenges of time,” Sancho further said.

he added that NEPC shall develop platforms to meet the consumers' growing needs for insights and transformation and develop innovative approaches that set new standards for service quality by reengineering its activities to put consumers at the core. NEPC shall prioritize what matters most to the consumers, through consumer education for them to find their power and social potential.

The participation of NEPC is urgent and necessary because the consumers in the franchise area of Ceneco have been grappling with varying degrees of power outages.

He said that NEPC is mandated to implement urgent upgrades in the electricity infrastructure of Ceneco, quantifying the cost of delayed action. “NEPC shall provide key recommendations for the policy-makers, highlighting what is necessary in areas such as investment, regulation, and planning in this crucial power transition that would give the way for our economic progress and development,” Sancho added.

"This is our call for consumer solidarity for all electricity consumers in the Negros Island, in partnership with NEPC, for a reliable, efficient, and secured power supply, for the greatest good of the greatest number of people,” he said.*

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