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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, October 12, 2017
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Ceneco to collect P232M by Oct. 25

Central Negros Electric Cooperative will start collecting from its member-consumers the P232 million in “unnominated contract quantities” by October 25, unless the Energy Regulatory Commission reverses its decision, Ceneco general manager Sulpicio Lagarde Jr. said yesterday.

Lagarde said they are not happy to be implementing this, but they are being ordered by ERC. If ERC will stop them from implementing its order or direct them to refund whatever amount they have collected from itsmember-consumers, they will dutifully comply, he said.

If given the choice, they do not want to increase power rates because if the rate of electricity is high, their collection efficiency will be lower and incidence of power pilferages will increase, Lagarde said.

They are willing to forego the collection of P232 million in unnominated contract quantities if ERC will decide in favor of the motion for reconsideration filed by the Social Action Center.But as of now, they will follow the order of ERC, he said.

The SAC, represented by Fr. Chris Gonzales, earlier filed a motion for reconsideration before the ERC to prevent Ceneco from passing on to its member-consumers P232 million in “unnominated contract quantities” for 50 months starting October 25.

ERC, earlier denied the motion to dismiss filed by SAC and granted applicants KEPCO SPC Power Corporation (KSPC) and Ceneco authority to collect from the member-consumers the amount of P232,010,090.

In its motion for reconsideration dated Oct. 4, SAC, represented by its legal counsel Vicente Petierrelll, asked ERC to issue an order setting aside the assailed decision dated June 27 approving the application, and for a new decision to be issued dismissing the case.

Petierre pointed out that the signatory of applicant Ceneco has no authority to sign the petition and failed to comply with the rule on certification of non-forum shopping, and the unnominated quantity or power produced sold by KSPC to Ceneco by way of a contract is grossly disadvantageous, hence, should not be charged to the consumers.

He said unnominated quantity is power supply paid by Ceneco to KSPC even when it did not use or need such power.

Ceneco president Roy Cordova said they will welcome the decision of ERC if this will be in favor of the MR filed by SAC. He said that under his administration, they will be transparent in all its transactions.

Lagarde recalled that there was a forum provided where all oppositors were given a chance to file all oppositions, interventions, evidences, etc. But based on the ERC decision, no onehad submitted their official documents.

If they had filed all these information in 2013, ERC could have not rendered this decision, he said.

ERC has authorized Ceneco to recover from its consumers the amount of P232 million at a monthly rate of P0.0817 per kWh for a period of 50 months or until such time that the full amount have been recovered.

The increase of P0.817 per kWh will be reflected in the October 16 billing of the member-consumers of Ceneco, Lagarde said.

During a press conference held by Ceneco yesterday, Power Watch-Negros secretary general Wennie Sancho presented their position paper condemning the ERC ruling. It also stated that consumers should not be compelled to pay for power supply they have not used.

Sancho and Romeo Lavilla also requested for a copy of the ERC decision since the latter plans to file a motion for reconsideration to prevent the implementation of the P232 million in unnominated contract quantities.

Bacolod Councilor Distrito said he is not in favor of the plan of Ceneco to pass on the P232 million inunnominated contract quantities to its member-consumers.

Distrito said he is hopeful that the motion for reconsideration of SAC will be decided in favor of the consumers and the SAC.

If there was unused power supply because the Ceneco officials made a mistake in their estimated power supply, they should pay for it from their own income and not from the member-consumers, he said.  

Distrito said he is appealing to the Ceneco to wait for the final decision of the ERC on the motion for reconsideration filed by the SAC before collecting the P232 million in unnominated contract quantities.*CGS




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