BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Power Watch Negros Advocates Inc. is demanding that Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) implement the refund to consumers, resulting from over-charging or mismanagement on the part of the power utility firm.
Wennie Sancho, Power Watch secretary general, yesterday said the consumers of CENECO are now howling in frustration over the promise of its management to refund the amount to P238 million worth of “over-recoveries” covering the period February 2004 to December 2017.
CENECO earlier assured that it will comply with the order of the ERC to refund its consumers, he said.
The cooperative though, will be filing a motion for reconsideration and/or clarification with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on the implementation of refund. Its corporate planning manager Norman Pollentes, earlier said they will start implementing the refund during this month’s billing.
“Where is the refund? CENECO should assure the consumers that a refund is forthcoming this June 2022. Or will they wait for the member-consumers to assert their claims for refund by way of a massive-protest action?” Sancho asked.
CENECO should issue a categorical statement on this issue of refund and that the CENECO-Board of Directors (BOD) should pass a resolution to support the refund in order to advance the welfare of the consumers, he said.
Sancho said any motion for reconsideration or clarification to ERC on the order of refund cannot stay its execution as ordered by the Commission. The consumers will claim the refund which is rightfully theirs, which is the result of over-charging or mismanagement on the part of CENECO.
To refund or not to refund, that is the question that needs immediate resolution. The amount that will be deducted from the monthly bills of the consumers would be a respite for them amidst the unabated increases in the prices of petroleum products, basic goods and services, let alone the exorbitant rate of electricity, he said.
Sancho said Power Watch Negros Advocates Inc., on behalf of the CENECO consumers, is asserting for the implementation of the refund. It is unfortunate that the CENECO-BOD represented by its President Jojit Yap and acting Manager Ervin Stan Leo Ticar seems to be nonchalant on this crucial issue of refund.
They should have realized that the source of all these over-recoveries is the CENECO management. Under the tariff doctrine of “cost causation, the causer of the cost, should pay the cost,” he said adding that “CENECO should give us the refund immediately.”*