Bacolod City – Should the Central Negros Electric Cooperative fail to engage in a joint venture with a financially capable private distribution utility, its franchise application in Congress is expected to face opposition from Abang Lingkod party-list representative Stephen Joseph Paduano.
In a statement, Paduano said he would not allow Ceneco consumer members to continuously suffer for another 25 years of inefficient service and unreliable supply
The processing of Ceneco’s renewal of franchise, according to Paduano, should start in 2025, as it expires in 2030.
In a meeting with Bacolod barangay captains, Paduano stressed that the situation of Ceneco is now “hopeless”, noting that the ailing distribution utility is “bleeding and has no financial capability to improve its services in the coming years or before they apply for franchise renewal.”
They cannot develop, because their CAPEX (Capital Expenditures) applications have been turned down by the Energy Regulatory Administration, said the party list solon, who is a resident of Bacolod City.
Where can you see a distribution facility subsidizing P20 million a month, Paduano asked, apparently referring to the system losses of Ceneco.
If the consumers support ratifying the signed Joint Venture Agreement of CENECO and Primelectric (MORE Power), he reiterated that he will even sponsor it in Congress.
Paduano also lauded the performance of MORE Power in Iloilo city in its past three years of operation, noting the laudable performance and its track records.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, local business and Church leaders, had earlier recommended the Ceneco JVA with MORE Power, which also has the support of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, Don Salvador Benedicto Mayor Marxlen dela Cruz, and other barangay leaders in Bacolod City.
Paduano also said that power rate in Iloilo has gone down due to MORE Power services, and that they are now expanding, with member consumers are getting refunds.
“It’s not all about MORE, it’s not about CENECO, it’s all about consumers in Bacolod City, who should be given good services. So, it’s now or never,” Paduano stressed.
Paduano vowed that he would personally campaign in the barangays to convince consumers to vote Yes in the scheduled four-day plebiscite for the JVA on June 24 and 25, July 1 and 2. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)