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Albee mulls class suit vs Ceneco

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

A class suit against Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) is being eyed by Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez for power outages in its franchise area.

Benitez said that Ceneco should have the protection equipment to arrest power outages, to ensure that it will not hit its consumers.

The mayor admitted that he was among the many Ceneco consumers whose appliances were destroyed by power fluctuations in recent weeks.

“It is incumbent for them to protect their consumers,” Benitez stressed.

If ever there is a liability on their part, Benitez said “I don’t mind organizing a class action suit.”

Atty. Arnel Lapore, Ceneco acting general manager, however said that they should not be blamed, as he passed on the blame to the transmission lines of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

While they have devices for it, Lapore said they have no control over the fluctuation of power from the grid, which he added is also being experienced by other electric cooperatives.

The NGCP blamed a “system disturbance” that caused rotational power interruptions and voltage fluctuations at all power distributors in the islands of Negros, Panay and Guimaras.

There is also a proposal for a Joint Venture Agreement between IGNITE Power and Ceneco, to improve the efficiency of the distribution utility, which is supported by Negros Occidental top officials, led by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and some mayors, aside from Benitez.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier said that the national government will step in to augment efforts in addressing the power outages in Negros and Panay caused by a problem in the distribution system.

While Negros, has a surplus of power supply, Marcos said it encountered power interruptions along with Panay because of distribution system in high tension wire. “So that’s what we will have to look into,” the President said.*

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