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AGMA conducted amidst silent protest

BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

Consumers groups in Bacolod City held a silent protest in front of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative while it conducted its 43rd Annual General Membership Assembly yesterday*

Central Negros Electric Cooperative pushed thru with the conduct of its 43rd Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) yesterday despite the opposition of consumers groups in Bacolod City.

A silent protest was staged in front of the Ceneco main office in Bacolod City noontime yesterday spearheaded by Power Watch Negros Advocates, Alliance of Concerned Transport in Occidental Negros, Utilities Consumers Association for Reforms and Bacolod Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr.

Ma. Luisa Parroco, head of Cooperative Promotion Section, yesterday said the virtual AGMA had to be held because there was none conducted since 2018-2020 and that it is the right of the consumer-member-owners (CMOs) to know and to be updated about the electric cooperative as owners.

Parroco said they also conducted the AGMA because it is embedded in the National Electrification Administration (NEA) guidelines that those who want to run for Board of Director in an electric cooperative need two attendances in the AGMA within five years to qualify.

Without the AGMA, no one will be qualified to run in March, she said.

The amendment of Ceneco’s Constitution and By-laws is also very important for the existence of Ceneco as an electric cooperative, Parroco added.

Power Watch Negros Sec.-Gen Wennie Sancho said the insidious and high-handed way of amending the Constitution and By-laws of CENECO with the railroading of the process including the ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between labor and management is being condemned by the consumers as “irregular”.

What transpired during the AGMA yesterday was tantamount to trampling basic rights of the CMO’s of CENECO, he said.

All the illegal processes involved in holding the AGMA were alleged to be deceitful measures carefully planned covered with a cloak of legality. The democratic space in the so-called AGMA was closed, hence there were no democratic participation but a reenactment of selected participants to implement their hidden agenda, Sancho said.

The consumers were led into a bait and switch situation, the bait was enticing the consumers with cash rewards and other prizes in a grand raffle and the switch was to cow them into submission for the approval and ratification of the agenda that they could not comprehend, particularly its implications on the rights and welfare of the consumers, he added.

Sancho said the AGMA was the unfolding of a drama that would further exploit and oppress the consumers by the people who have been sworn to defend the interest of the consumers.

Most observers are saying that the recently concluded AGMA was a farce, a vaudeville or a “moro-moro” in local parlance. A convenient excuse to railroad amendment of the CBL and ratify the CBA between labor and management of CENECO, he said.

A live streaming does not involve substantial interaction between the parties, the AGMA therefore is null and void, Sancho said.

“Our opposition will only flame the rising fire of discontent against some members of the BOD who are not fit to sit as representatives of the CMO’s,” he added.*

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