“The Ayes Have It!” – Negros Power Secures Congressional Approval

Negros Power - Negros Electric and Power Corp - Congress approval - electricity - power - Bacolod City - Central Negros - Cong Gus Tambunting - dad blogger

The 19th Congress convened on February 13, 2024, and passed Committee Report No. 936 on House Bill No. 9805, championed by Central Negros Occidental reps, securing a franchise approval for Negros Power or Negros Electric and Power Corp. (NEPC). This marks a crucial step in enhancing power distribution. Congressman Tambunting, chair of the Legislative and Franchises Committee, ensured CENECO’s interests in NEPC’s transition. The franchise’s approval signals a new era in regional power distribution. CENECO’s aging infrastructure and increasing demand necessitate this transformation. The NEPC’s transition involves legal processes, but it’s a significant stride towards a brighter energy future in Central Negros.

At last! The much-anticipated solution to Central Negros’ electric distribution woes has arrived, promising a brighter future for residents. This initiative is poised to revolutionize power distribution, ensuring greater stability and enhanced service quality. This writer is confident this is possible after having witnessed firsthand that the NEPC’s sister company in Iloilo City, MORE Power, has delivered the same stellar service for the City of Love. Covering key cities including Bacolod, Silay, Talisay, and Bago, as well as the municipalities of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental, it holds the key to a more reliable and efficient energy landscape. Thank you, Congressman Tabunting and the 3 Negros representatives who pushed for the franchise of NEPC. These representatives, Joseph Stephen Paduano, Juliet Marie De Leon Ferrer, and Francisco Benitez, introduced House Bill Number 9310 in Congress last year.

Empowering Negros Power: The Franchise Approval

The approval of this franchise is a pivotal moment for Negros Electric and Power Corp. (NEPC), signaling a new era in power distribution for the region. Covering six LGUs (Local Government Units) consisting of four cities and two municipalities, this franchise extends for a substantial 25 years.

Congressional Debate and Assurance

During the heated debates in the plenary session, Congressman Gus S. Tambunting, chairing the Legislative and Franchises Committee, emphasized crucial aspects of the bill. Notably, Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) retains ownership of 30 percent of NEPC. Additionally, all outstanding debts and financial obligations will be resolved through a meticulously crafted Joint Venture Agreement.

Furthermore, Congressman Tambunting addressed concerns regarding employee welfare. He assured that CENECO employees would receive their due retirement and separation fees in accordance with Collective Bargaining Agreements. Moreover, they would enjoy priority status if they opt to transition to employment with NEPC.

Ensuring Continuity: The Transition to Negros Power Franchise Approval

CENECO, the current distribution utility serving Central Negros for decades, faces aging infrastructure. Nearly half of its facilities, including substations, have reached the 30-year mark. As the City of Bacolod experiences rapid growth, marked by new infrastructure and township developments, CENECO struggles to keep up with the escalating demand for electricity.

This blog has been addressing many of the reasons behind CENECO’s problems. It has been advocating for the approval of the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) through a plebiscite. The JVA was supported by the majority of consumers. With the approved JVA, the newly formed Distribution Utility (DU) will need to undergo legal steps to take over the service of distributing power within its scope of service. It must be noted by the consumers that though we are one step closer to a “brighter future” (figuratively and literally), NEPC is yet to go through more hurdles to finally take over the operations. But this is already one of the significant steps. So the residents of Central Negros have a glimpse of hope on the horizon.

At its core, this franchise aims to guarantee an uninterrupted supply of electricity within the designated franchise area. By meeting the energy needs of residents, it aspires to foster regional development and progress. The legislation stands as a testament to the government’s commitment to enhancing the quality of electric distribution services for all residents.

A Step Forward for Negros Power

The approval of this franchise marks a significant leap forward in addressing the energy demands of Negros Occidental. By promoting economic growth and ensuring reliable power distribution, it paves the way for a brighter and more prosperous future for Central Negros. As Negros Electric and Power Corp. embarks on this new chapter, it does so with the full support of Congress and a clear mandate to serve the people diligently.

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