• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The recent endorsement of support for the proposed Joint Venture Agreement between Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) and IGNITE Power by top provincial and city officials of Negros Occidental are welcome developments and strong indicators that the acceptability of the JVA is no longer questionable, according to consumer group, Power Watch Negros.
As a matter of fact, the JVA is gaining more support, Power Watch secretary general Wennie Sancho said, citing the statements of support of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, and Don Salvador Benedicto Mayor Marxlen dela Cruz.
In a statement, Sancho said he believes that the JVA has now become a necessity, stressing that the massive power disturbance experienced by the consumers in Western Visayas last month had caused so much inconvenience to the consumers that literally, they were robbed of their right to quality life.
He added that the confluence of events made glaring by the massive power outage, only shows that Ceneco, as a distribution utility is getting older, and even with planned maintenance, cannot be as efficient as they were before.
Sancho also noted that Ceneco’s infrastructure and equipment have become unreliable and obsolete, and it has been experiencing recurrent power outages.
For all intents and purposes, the JVA is a necessity because CENECO must adapt modern power technologies for a more reliable power supply and efficient electricity services, he stressed.
Ceneco cannot reduce power outages and system loss unless it undergoes rehabilitation and upgrading, including the acquisition of new equipment designed to ensure customers’ access to reliable and cost-efficient power supply under the auspices of the JVA proponent, Sancho added.
The JVA, according to Sancho, is now a necessity, noting that since May 8, the Visayas grid status has been in yellow alert, which means the operating margin is insufficient to meet the transmission grid’s regulating and contingency requirement.
When there is insufficient power supply in the grid, power interruption must be resorted to, at the inconvenience of the consumers, he further said, adding that such a situation will be exacerbated by the El Nino phenomenon due to the intense heat during the dry season.
The JVA will usher a new era of power distribution with its state-of-the-art technology that would revolutionize the operation of Ceneco -IGNITE to provide excellent services to the consumers that is worth the money we are paying for, Sancho pointed out.*