Central Negros Consumers Stand Firm in Their Support for Electric Power Distribution Privatization

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Central Negros consumers are steadfastly reaffirming their support for the privatization of electric power distribution in their region. Represented by various community associations in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, these homeowners-consumers once again expressed their support for the granting of a Congressional franchise to the Negros Electric and Power Corporation (NEPC).

A Clear Message of Support for the Electric Power Distribution Privatization

Amidst dissatisfaction with the current service provider, the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO), consumers are making their voices heard loud and clear. They emphasize their enduring frustration with CENECO’s failure to provide a reliable power supply, resulting in frequent disruptions and inconveniences.

Concerns about Current Services

Voicing dissatisfaction with Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO), consumer representatives shed light on persistent issues affecting their day-to-day lives. Jesben Duday, Chairperson of Parents of Purok Riverside Incorporated, points out, “CENECO, as an Electric Cooperative distribution utility, miserably failed to provide us with adequate power supply, resulting in massive blackouts, power outages, and brownouts. We were deprived of our need for a reliable power supply and efficient services for several decades despite paying our monthly bills religiously.”

Julie Alob, Chairperson of Banago Yuhom Takers Association, echoes this sentiment. “The services of CENECO are inadequate contrary to our expectations. We have to bear the financial burden of the systems loss incurred by CENECO, but being passed on to our electricity rate charges,” she laments.

Impact on Daily Life

A women’s organization also summarized their burdens whenever they suffered unscheduled power interruptions. Nona Dela Cruz, Chairperson of Tinagong Paraiso Empowered Women’s Organization, eloquently articulates the vital role electricity plays. “Electricity is a basic necessity that affects the lives of all our family members and homeowners. We need electricity to prepare meals and to get news and information from the radio and television. Without power or energy, there is no water supply for drinking, personal hygiene, and daily chores at home. The safety and security of our homes and family members are in danger without light in the night’s darkness.”

Demand for Better Customer Service

Jun Mart Tan, Chairperson of Mahimulaton Home Owners Association, voices frustration over CENECO’s subpar consumer care saying, “Instead of comfort and convenience, we have been suffering from inconvenience and frustrations that we do not deserve as consumers due to poor consumer care.” This collective sentiment underscores the need for tangible enhancements in electricity service quality.

Urgency of Infrastructure Improvement

Consumer representatives recognize the pressing need for infrastructure upgrades. They assert that private distribution utilities possess the necessary financial, technical, and managerial capabilities. These capabilities are essential to drive meaningful change in the power distribution sector. They stress the urgency of rehabilitating CENECO’s infrastructure to minimize power outages and disruptions, thereby bolstering overall service reliability.

Support for NEPC’s Franchise Application

In a joint statement submitted to the Senate, consumer representatives reiterate their endorsement of NEPC’s Congressional franchise application. “We support the Congressional franchise application of NEPC, with the hope of either ending or minimizing power outages and other forms of frequency disturbances,” their statement reads. They express optimism that the franchise will be granted. They believe it will mark a significant step toward addressing service shortcomings. Additionally, they anticipate it will establish a more robust and efficient power distribution network.

Mandate for Change through Plebiscite Approval

The overwhelming approval of the Joint Venture between CENECO and NEPC in the recent plebiscite underscores consumers’ collective call for change. Primelectric Holdings Incorporated is poised to acquire CENECO’s electric distribution assets. NEPC’s successful franchise acquisition, stakeholders anticipate a transformative shift toward improved service quality and reliability.

In summary, the strong reaffirmation of support from Central Negros consumers signifies a unified commitment. Frustration with the current electric distribution drives the consumer groups to support the privatization of CENECO. Through collective advocacy, they are backing NEPC’s franchise application. They are determined to usher in a new era of enhanced electricity services in their communities.

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