Senate urged to expedite passage of NEPC franchise

Senate urged to expedite passage of NEPC franchise

Power Watch Negros, a Bacolod-based consumer group, passed a resolution on Wednesday, May 1, calling on the Senate to expedite the granting of a legislative franchise to the Negros Electric and Power Corporation (NEPC).

In Resolution No. 003, NEPC said that the granting of the NEPC franchise "shall pave the way for our progress and development because a stable power supply attracts commercial and industrial investments that will generate job opportunities for the people, that shall pump-prime the economy."

It added that the NEPC "shall intensify the operation of Central Negros Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ceneco) to empower and capacitate its consumers."

"We are most respectfully requesting for your positive action on this very important plea. Ceneco no longer deserved to be a distribution utility of power, in its franchise area," the group said.

Power Watch cited that the recent blackouts were already hitting residents and businesses in the franchise area of the Ceneco "depriving the consumers of relief from summer heat and disrupting their personal and working responsibilities."

"The consumers in the franchise area of Ceneco still experience supply power woes. We share the frustrations of the public when power outages occurred on March 26, April 11 and 20, resulting in several hours of brownouts. Rotating power outages has become a common occurrence, giving us irritation, inconvenience and sleepless nights. There is no need to overstate the degree of dissatisfaction and frustration over the dismal failure of Ceneco to provide us with an efficient and reliable power supply, as evidenced by its years of neglect and mismanagement,” the resolution also said.

They added that "consumers had been suffering for several decades from unspeakable ordeal, anxiety and mental anguish due to frequent power outages. Brownouts lead to increased expenses for households and businesses."

"Power outages disrupt our daily lives and business operations, drain resources and can lead to substantial economic losses. The social cost could lead to irreparable damage," the  group lamented.

The consumers group added that the passage of the NEPC bill will give consumers "complete relief from power outages that have become a burden like a yoke fitted to the shoulders of the Ceneco consumers."

The resolution was passed during a  Power Consumers Conference on May 1.

Earlier, Senator Grace Poe, in a privilege speech, has endorsed favorably the passage of the NEPC franchise.*

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