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Albee, Greg also support NEPC franchise bill

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

House Bill 9310, which calls for granting of a franchise to the Negros Electric Power Corporation to acquire and operate a power distribution facility in the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, Silay, Bago, as well as Murcia and Salvador Benedicto, has the support of Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez.

In a press briefing, Benitez yesterday said that Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya also affirmed his support to the proposed bill, which is co-authored by Abang Lingkod partylist Rep. Stephen Joseph Paduano, Third District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez, and Fourth District Rep. Juliet Marie Ferrer.

Describing it as a “welcome development,” Benitez said “we have now four solons sponsoring the proposed bill,”

NEPC claims it will infuse an initial capital of P2 billion to rehabilitate and modernize electric power distribution to make it reliable and efficient to consumers, businesses, institutions, and other users within its franchise area.

One thing that I’d like about this company coming in, they already assured of investment, Benitez said.

With that kind of investment, we are guaranteed with a better service, he added.

On Sunday, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson expressed his full support to HB 9310.

“A clear mandate was given by the member consumers of Central Negros Electric Cooperative thru a referendum approving the joint venture agreement between CENECO and NEPC,” Lacson said.

CENECO, whose franchise will expire 2030, allegedly faces constraints due to its reliance on limited funding, no additional capital expenditures, and lack of access to modern technology.

The quality of service that CENECO has been providing has been wanting. Among the complaints against CENECO are power outages, voltage fluctuations, poorly-maintained lines, inadequate investment in distribution facilities, inordinate delay in the restoration of power services, overbilling/overcharging, and poor customer relations, among others, the explanatory note of HB 9310 said.*

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