BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Power Watch Negros Advocates Inc. is asking the local government of Bacolod City to intervene in behalf of the consumers Central Negros Electric Cooperative, to save the power utility firm from deterioration by accommodating its proposal for the creation of an Electric Consumers Action Desk (ECAD).
Power Watch secretary general Wennie Sancho said the ECAD will be headed by Roy Cordova and Teddy Macainan as coordinator to the Office of the Mayor. He will just oversee the necessary solutions to the problems surrounding Ceneco.
Sancho said they will request the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod to conduct a public hearing and pass a resolution recognizing the electric consumers action desk. If necessary, Mayor Albee Benitez should issue an executive order to legalize ECAD as a mechanism that will facilitate problems not being entertained by Ceneco.
They will also request for the establishment of an ECAD desk at the Bacolod City Government Center and in various adjacent barangays in the city which they hope will help minimize if not totally solve the problem of the consumers. They also plan to hold a consumers education program with the help of the LGU for the consumers to understand their rights and welfare and the implications of the excessive power supply acquisition of Ceneco which are being converted to onerous and unnecessary charges that is bleeding the consumers dry, he said.
Sancho said they want to strengthen their advocacy so there will be serious and legitimate effort to control these perineal and lingering problems of Ceneco consumers which they have been carrying for a long period of time.
With the cooperation of the LGU, they are hopeful that this will ease the burden of Ceneco consumers, particularly with regards to the exorbitant rate of electricity in the franchise areas of the power utility firm. Sixty one percent out of its 213,000 consumers are from Bacolod City, he said.
“So, it only is proper that we seek the help assistance and intervention of Benitez because these concerns have adversely affected the economic situation of the consumers in Bacolod City, Sancho added.
Meanwhile, the action officer of the proposed Electric Consumers Action Desk (ECAD) called on the National Electrification Authority (NEA) to recall the appointment of the acting general manager (AGM) of Central Negros Electric Cooperative.
Roy Cordova said the function of the AGM and project supervisor of electric cooperatives (EC) like Ceneco are the same based on NEA Memorandum No. 2018-016 dated March 16.
An AGM manages the day-to-day operations of the EC, while a project supervisor supervises its management and operations, which is synonymous. So, there is a duplication of functions of the EC’s operation, he said.
Cordova pointed out that NEA first appointed the AGM and subsequently appointed the project supervisor, which have the same functions. So, they are calling on NEA to recall the appointment of the AGM of Ceneco since it is redundant to the position of the project supervisor. And importantly, because of the financial predicament faced by Ceneco with regards to the claims of the Ceneco Union for salary increase.
The salaries and wages of an AGM is about P145,000 a month. If his appointment is recalled, his salary will be enough to cater to the salary increases of linemen and other frontliners of Ceneco and can also be used for the procurement of new electric meters, he said.
There are new applicants for electric connection which Ceneco has not served for almost a month now for lack of electric meters. So, for the sake of Ceneco, its consumers, and for the existence of the EC, they believe it is a must that the local government protect the consumers which is about 60 percent of the total number of consumers in Ceneco’s franchise area, Cordova added.*