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Power Watch seeks SP committee report on Ceneco

Power Watch Negros believes that the public hearing conducted by the Committee on Energy of the Sangguniang Panlungsod failed to address the alleged injustice inflicted by Ceneco to its consumers, a press release from the group said.

Power Watch secretary general Wennie Sancho said he emailed a letter to the office of Councilor Claudio Puentevella on October 17 requesting for a copy of the committee report of the August 13 and September 9 public hearings, and made a follow-up telephone call the next day but was informed by a staff of the councilor that his request will be released later because they were all busy due to the MassKara Festival.

Unfortunately, more than a week had passed but until now, the request of Power Watch had not been acted upon, he said.

Sancho said the indifference, if not the downright refusal of the staff of Puentevella to furnish a copy of the report is an insult because Power Watch is the original party that requested for the public hearing on Ceneco issues and concerns, involving the unreasonable and excessive rates in electricity.

Power Watch is not aware if Puentevella was informed about this incident. With this development, he believes that the public hearing failed to address the injustice inflicted by Ceneco to the consumers, he said.

The actions of the committee, if any, were merely symbolic gestures that are empty of serious content. It tolerates the loose legal standards and actions done by the Ceneco Board, beyond the view of formal accountability, Sancho said.

Whatever is the content of that committee report, there is now a growing public perception that the government has the penchant of concocting hollow laws applicable to distribution utilities like Ceneco. It makes promises to the consumers which it does not necessarily intend to keep, he said.

The passing of resolutions by the Sangguniang Panlungsod is nothing more than gestures of good intent and grand declaration of what would be nice to accomplish someday. However, the reality is that these resolutions lack the precision and capacity to deliver on the intention to advance the welfare of the consumers, Sancho said.

“Like most public hearings, it ended limply without achieving concrete results. We do not only suffer, we have to pay a heavy price every month. There is no institution in the government that will defend our interest,” he added.*

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