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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 12, 2017
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City allots P84M for power bill

The Bacolod City government has allocated in its annual budget about P84 million for payment of its monthly electric consumption with Central Negros Electric Cooperative for the whole year, Bacolod City Administrator John Orola said yesterday.

Orola said the monthly billing of the city with Ceneco is about P7 million. So the city allocated a budget for the whole year to pay its current account.

Ceneco has requested for payment from the city, amounting to P297,012,877.03 as of December 2016, which includes accounts of previous administrations, he said.

Records show that Ceneco also has an account with the city in terms of franchise tax liabilities covering 1997 to 2006, and 2008, of about P185 million.

Orola said the city and Ceneco are supposed to offset their accounts but this is not allowed under Commission on Audit rules.

Ceneco is happy that the city has allocated a budget this year for its monthly bill, he said.

The city is taking steps to reduce its electric consumption by organizing a joint team composed of representatives from Ceneco and the city, through the City Administrator's Office, with the City Engineer's Office, to rewire the Burgos Public Market in order to address the problem of pilferages, Orola said.

During a meeting with Ceneco, it was discussed that the installation of electric meters in the public markets will be done by the power utility firm, while the rewiring of the Burgos Market will cost the city about P2 million to P3 million, he said.

Orola said an inventory of electric poles in the city will be conducted to determine how many poles will be subject to taxation. This will be discussed later since Ceneco is willing to pay.

A big bulk of the city's account with Ceneco involves the electric consumption of barangay street lights amounting to about P3 million as of Nov. 2016, followed by tourism street lights amounting to P859,116.31.*CGS



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