Bacolod: Consumer group slams excessive power rate increase

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The Negros Consumer’s Watch (NCW) strongly denounced the successive yellow and red power alert issued by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) that resulted in excessive power rate increases in the country, NCW chairperson Pete Pico said in a statement.

Unfortunately, it came at a time when the consumers and the general public are still reeling from high inflationary rates due to skyrocketing and seemingly unstoppable increases of prices of basic commodities and social services, he said.

By conveniently passing on to consumers the add-on power rate increases in the midst of economic want and poverty, NGCP only shows its impotency and incapability of ensuring that the country’s transmission assets are in best condition to convey safe, quality and reliable electricity, Pico said.

The Department of Energy (DOE) and its attached agency, the National Electrification Administration (NEA), whose primary task is to develop plans and programs for the power industry, are showing their own neglect and incompetence notwithstanding their huge budgetary appropriations, he said.

Pico said the current power crisis in the country is exemplified in the Province of Negros Occidental where electric cooperatives, CENECO and NOCECO are imposing high and exorbitant power rate bills and is likewise reflective of the DOE and NEA incompetency and neglect. The intervention of NEA in the management of CENECO and NOCECO did more harm than good and even created chaos and disorder, and at the expense of member-consumer-owners (MCOs) of the cooperatives.

He added that Negros Consumer’s Watch cannot stand idly on these power crisis but must stand in solidarity with cooperatives’ MCOs and the general public to denounce and protest these unbearable power rate increases that is taking its heavy toll in the economic life of the Filipino people. (Chrysee Semillano via The Visayan Daily Star)

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