BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
A movement pushing for the genuine ownership by consumer members of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) through its registration with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), was launched in Bacolod City Saturday.
Dubbed “MCO Ako or Movement for Genuine Ceneco Ownership”, the movement will help educate and inform the consumers of the need to have Ceneco registered with the CDA, MCO Ako chairman Cesar Beloria said Saturday during a press conference.
However, Beloria said this will need the consent of the consumers by way of a plebiscite, which is one of the requirements for the registration of Ceneco aside from other legal requisites.
He said that if Ceneco is registered with the CDA there is a possible eradication of taxes and unnecessary charges being passed on to the consumers. As owners, consumers may have participation in decision-making and even in the passage of rate increases, as well as being entitled to some benefits like rebates or dividends.
Beloria also pointed out that if Ceneco is registered with the CDA, the National Electrification Authority (NEA) will lose its regulating power over it.
Roy Cordova, convenor and Ceneco Board vice president, said they have no other objective except to protect Ceneco, which has about 200,000 consumers, as well as its workers.
He said that the Ceneco Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative is even registered with the CDA so its members are able to avail of benefits.
Ceneco was issued a provisional certificate of franchise on June 22, 1977 retroactive to the date of registration on February 24, 1975 granted by NEA. Its permanent franchise issued by NEA on April 16, 1980 will expire in 2025.
Meanwhile, Beloria said there is now a trend in the country where utility providers, that are supposed to be run by the government, are being privatized because consumers have no control over them.
So they have a plan of action and are now conducting orientation of consumer-members on the need to have Ceneco registered with the CDA. The movement has also complied with its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration, he added.*