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CENECO owes NEA, banks P613M – Power Watch

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Power Watch Negros claims that the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) owes P613,124,390.81, in the form of loans from the National Electric Administration and banks, including payments for bill deposit, retirement funds of distribution utility employees, and other liabilities.

This is another “debt shock” for all CENECO consumers, in addition to the details of our 10.48 percent systems loss to which we are paying an average loss of P15 million a month as of May 2023, with an accumulated losses of P60.8 million, according to Power Watch secretary general Wennie Sancho, in a statement he issued.

Sancho also revealed that about 45 percent of the distribution charges collection goes to the increases in the huge salaries, fat bonuses, and perks of more than 400 CENECO employees who are receiving a surplus of remuneration in “confusing abundance.”

He also reported that the basic salary of a CENECO supervisor is about P60, 000 per month, with a 50 liter gasoline allocation and an emergency rice and relief allowance of P8,000 per month, on top of 13th and 14th month bonuses, with the clincher of a P50,000 year-end bonus.

No wonder why CENECO had accumulated such a staggering indebtedness, because almost half of the slice of the cake went to their employees, Sancho said.

CENECO was caught in a debt-trap from which there is no escape, unless somebody is willing to redeem CENECO from its huge indebtedness, he further said.

CENECO has entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with the Primelectric Holdings Inc. / Negros Electric Power Corporation, which is yet to be ratified by its member-consumers.

The JVA plebiscite has been held in abeyance by the NEA, pending the validation of the list of its member consumers.

Two Negros bishops earlier expressed their concerns over the signing of JVA between CENECO and Primelectric Holdings Inc., despite its failure to secure approval of the general assembly held just days earlier, as well as the hasty endorsement of local government chief executives.

In a joint statement, San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza and Kabankalan Bishop Louie Galbines have claimed that the JVA is clearly one sided, completely disregarding the concerns of the people.

They added that the JVA is a step towards the disempowerment of member consumer owners, whose voices should be the only proper basis for all decision making and the interests of a genuine electric cooperative.*

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