By Mae Singuay
The member-consumer-owners of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) are heading in the right direction after the “yes” vote dominated the plebiscite for the joint venture agreement (JVA), Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said yesterday.
“I think we’re heading in the right direction. Hopefully, the JVA will now be properly implemented and we can expect better services that have been promised,” Benitez said.
The JVA, entered between Ceneco and Primelectric Holdings Inc., will be later known as the Negros Electric Power Corp. (NEPC), which will pour in at least P2 billion in capital expenditures to be used in the massive system rehabilitation to improve power distribution services in the cooperative’s franchise areas.
This will lead to 24/7 power supply, lower occurrence of unscheduled power interruptions, more efficient operations, and reasonable power rates in Negros Occidental cities of Bago, Talisay and Silay, the municipalities of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto, and capital Bacolod City.
“The talking is over, now is the doing,” Benitez said.
“Bantayan ta gid ang next step nila to be undertaken sa pag-improve nila sang services sang kuryente,” he added.
The mayor also hopes to achieve a complete status of renewable energy as early as next year, one of the three goals he requested to be delivered in the JVA.
The other requests are low energy costs and no more power interruptions.
Before the NEPC takes over pending the procedure, Primelectric president and chief executive officer Roel Castro said he will meet with the management of Ceneco.
Castro will ask the electric cooperative’s management on the areas of power distribution in which they are comfortable they could collaborate.
“If they say they want to start with the system loss reduction, we have the resources to do that as long as it will not violate any regulations of the charter of the National Electrification Administration,” Castro said.
He assured he would put primordial importance to Ceneco consumers through the JVA.
By the end of the day, it is intended to bring competitive electricity rates and better service for the consumers, making them feel that what they are preparing for is worth it in terms of service, he added./MS, WDJ