• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday expressed his full support to the proposed bill filed by three Negros Occidental solons, seeking to grant a franchise to the Negros Electric Power Corporation (NEPC) to acquire and operate a power distribution facility in the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, Silay, Bago, as well as Murcia and Salvador Benedicto.
“A clear mandate was given by the member consumers of Central Negros Electric Cooperative thru a referendum approving the joint venture agreement between CENECO and NEPC,” Lacson said.
House Bill 9310 was filed by Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano, Third District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez and Fourth District Rep. Juliet Marie Ferrer.
Stressing that he supported the Yes vote to JVA, Lacson said granting a franchise is part of the process.
CENECO, whose franchise will expire 2030, allegedly faces constraints due to its reliance on limited funding, no additional capital expenditures, and lack of access to modern technology.
NEPC said it is infusing an initial capital of P2 billion to rehabilitate and modernize electric power distribution to make it reliable and efficient to consumers, businesses, institutions, and other users within its franchise area.
The quality of service that CENECO has been providing has been wanting. Among the complaints against CENECO are power outages, voltage fluctuations, poorly-maintained lines, inadequate investment in distribution facilities, inordinate delay in the restoration of power services, overbilling/overcharging, and poor customer relations, among others, the explanatory note of HB 9310 said.*