Consumer group lauds Ceneco move to review contracts

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Consumer group Power Watch welcomed the commitment of Central Negros Electric Cooperative acting general manager Danny Pondevilla to revive the Power Advisory Council that will compel the review of existing and previous power supply contracts.

“It is a welcome development to achieve total transparency and accountability,” said labor leader and convenor Wennie Sancho.

He said that the move will determine how much was the overcontracted power supply because consumers are paying the unconsumed energy.

The revival of the council also aims to eliminate suspicious provisions in the contracts amid the allegations that the Board of Directors decided to proceed without studying these carefully.

“With consumer representatives attending all the biddings conducted by Ceneco, this can promote total transparency and accountability and will be helpful for the management to determine the actual and forecast demand of the cooperative,” Sancho said, adding that if there is a need for an allowance in the forecast demand, it should be minimal.

In a press conference last week, Pondevilla committed to reduce the residential power rate by P1 per kilowatt hour, through lower generation charge, within six months.

He said that the generation charge is the main factor of the higher rate of Ceneco because of the overcontracted power purchased from different providers.

This causes the cooperative to pay an amount of power in excess of what the cooperative had consumed, he added.

Also, Pondevilla said that he will revive the Consumers Advisory Council composed of Ceneco department heads and consumer groups as well as the church and the media to promote transparency in all transactions of the cooperative to erase alleged corruption-tainted transactions.

While Pondevilla sits as the acting general manager, he was also appointed by the National Electrification Administration as the project supervisor of Ceneco, which gives him the power over decisions made by the Board of Directors. – MML