Power group evaluating proposed Ceneco takeover by farmers’ coop

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BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA

Power Watch Negros said it is evaluating the application of a farmers’ cooperative to take over Central Negros Electric Cooperative.

Wennie Sancho, secretary-general of Power Watch, in a letter to Ceneco through Board president Dwight Carbon dated July 14, said the consumers’ group is evaluating the merits of the application of Gamboa Hermanos Farmers Cooperative to take over the power distribution franchise of Ceneco and the benefits to consumers of retaining the electric cooperative as the distribution utility.

He said they are asking for more information “to guide us on whom to support in this important choice that will affect the people of Central Negros for the next 20 years, and probably longer.”

Sancho said he is seeking a concrete action plan from Ceneco to bring down power costs by end of 2020 to 2021, as well as its plans on how to eliminate power interruptions.

The group is also looking for Ceneco’s action plans to improve overall service, strengthen its organization, and how to raise financing to improve distribution lines, substations, equipment, and system losses.

Sancho said they want to receive the information by August 12.

House Bill 8827, or an “Act granting the Gamboa Hermanos Farmworkers Multipurpose Cooperative (GHFMPC) a franchise to construct, install, establish, operate, own, manage and maintain distribution systems for the conveyance of electric power to the end-users in the Island of Negros”, was filed by Reps. Greg Gasataya (Bacolod), Mercedez Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6th District), and Lord Allan Jay Velasco (Marinduque) last year and it was referred to the House committee on franchises.

The bill seeks to provide dependable and efficient electric power distribution system for the Island of Negros by granting a franchise to operate to GHFMPC in the provinces of Negros Occidental and Oriental.

It also seeks to address the issue of high electricity prices and recurring blackouts through a regime of efficient and quality service delivery to end-users.*

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