BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Konsyumer Negros supports the initiative of Power Watch-Negros to request for a public hearing concerning issues surrounding the Central Negros Electric Cooperative.
Roberto Miguel Yulo, Konsyumer Negros coordinator, said the Committee on Energy and Public Utilities chaired by Councilor Claudio Puentevella is calling for a public hearing on Thursday at the Bacolod City Government Center in response to the letter of Power Watch – Negros secretary general Wennie Sancho.
“We believe that with the many issues being hurled against Ceneco, it would be beneficial for the public and electricity consumers to get to the root and to know the truth behind the issues involving the power utility firm like the increased electricity rates, failed competitive selection process, financial status of Ceneco, and the refund of consumers,” he said.
Yulo said they support the request of Power Watch for a public hearing and that they appreciate the initiative of the Committee on Energy to grant the electricity consumers’ request to look into matters and issues that are being hurled against the power utility firm.
This only proves that the electricity consumers are taking active action in protecting their rights and welfare, he said.
Konsyumer Negros would also like to point out that the increase in electricity rates is due to the fluctuating prices in fossil fuel in the international market. Most of the contracted electricity of Ceneco comes from power plants that use fossil fuel which not only contribute to the climate crisis but also exposes electricity consumers to increased power rates, Yulo said.
They will be attending the public hearing on August 18 and will be asking what steps Ceneco is undertaking to ensure that it is truly protecting electricity consumers from increased electricity rates, he said.
Vincent Flores, Konsyumer Negros secretary general, said they are also curious why Ceneco opted to buy electricity from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) where electricity rates fluctuate.
Konsyumer Negros hopes that this public hearing will lead to actions and solutions and not end up being translated into public policy and plans. It also hopes that there will be concrete solutions to the problems affecting electricity consumers, he added.*