BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The three electric cooperatives in Negros Occidental should improve their services amid a move to privatize operations.
Power Watch Negros said in a manifesto released yesterday that while it strongly opposes privatization and monopoly in the power industry, electric cooperatives should excel in their services and operations to serve the people.
“We have the right to deplore the failures resulting in mismanagement and corruption because we are the collective owners of the cooperative,” they said.
The member-consumers of Central Negros Electric Cooperative, Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative, and Northern Negros Electric Cooperative have the freedom to pass moral judgment on matters directly involving the welfare or the common good of the people, particularly in the distribution and services of power supply, the group said.
“We cannot be apathetic in the face of attempts by electric cooperatives to justify their inefficiencies by blaming the scarcity of power supply,” the manifesto said.
The group said the country is now on a stage of recession which could result in economic depression if the economy will collapse.
“All of these developments had affected the capacity of Ceneco consumers to pay their piled-up electric bills due to the diminution of their purchasing power since most business establishments are operating on a limited capacity,” the group said.
The problem was compounded by the inconvenience of power outages and the high cost of electricity rates paid by the consumers, Power Watch added.
This problematic situation needs an immediate solution by the management of electric cooperatives. In these trying and difficult times, Power Watch believes that the intervention of the people’s organization is necessary to save the consumers from the exorbitant payment of their monthly electric bills, the manifesto added.
The group said they also deplore the failure if not the downright refusal of an electric cooperative to address the issue of excessive, unutilized power supply, or overcontracting.*