Bacolod City – Sixteen civil society and people’s organizations gathered in Bacolod recently, to come up with a comprehensive plan to protect consumers under the nine districts covered by Ceneco, from any possible adverse effects of the joint venture agreement (JVA) between the power utility firm and IGNITE of MORE Electric and Power Corp. and Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).
Bukluran ng Manggagawa Pilipino (BMP) national president Luke Espiritu was guest speaker during the forum that was also attended by representatives of BMP-Negros, Akbayan Party, Pandayan, Bunyog, Ceneco unions, Sanlakas, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, trisikad and farmer’s federations, fisherfolk and urban poor federations, students, among others.
Rescue Union president Leonard Guilaran and Member-Consumer-Owner (MCO) president Ernie Pineda were among those who manifested during the forum that the member-consumer-owners of Ceneco are opposing the unsolicited proposal of the two private firms for a joint venture proposal agreement with Ceneco.
The two Ceneco labor unions had also aired their opposition to the JVA saying it would cause higher electricity rates because of the private firms’ desire for profit and that a lot of Ceneco employees will lose their jobs.
On the other hand, the proposed Joint Venture Agreement appeared to gain support, this time from Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.
According to Lacson, in the case of Iloilo, electricity rates went down when MORE Power took over the power distribution facility – Panay Electric Co. (PECO).
As a consumer, that is what we are looking for – steady supply of power, and the same time, more affordable rates, the governor stressed.
Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez earlier said that he will support the joint venture (JV) between Ceneco and MORE Electric and Power Corp, if it will redound to the benefit of Bacolodnons.
Power Watch Negros has high expectations that the unsolicited proposal of two firms for a joint venture agreement will improve the services of the power utility firm.
Wennie Sancho, Power Watch secretary general, said that they are looking forward that the joint venture proposal will provide consumers more affordable, reliable, efficient and stable power supply. (Chrysee Semillano/Gilbert Bayoran via tvds photo by tvds)