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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, April 1, 2011
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SP to probe
‘expensive’ electricity


A joint hearing and investigation will be conducted by the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod on the complaint of the spokesperson of Electricity Consumers Advocacy of the Philippines against the Central Negros Electric Cooperative’s purchase of more expensive electricity that will burden its consumers.

Roy Cordova sought the intervention of the SP about the non-contracting of CENECO with Green Core Geothermal Inc. and the status of the power supply and demand of CENECO vis-à-vis the contracts it has with other power suppliers.

In his letter to the SP dated March 31, 2011, Cordova, a former CENECO employee and union president, said it is of public knowledge that CENECO did not purchase power from Green Core based in Palinpinon power of which used to be supplied by the National Power Corporation.

He said it was learned however, that Green Core has the lowest power rates among the suppliers in the market, lower than the Korean Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), which has an existing Power Sales Contract with CENECO for 10 years at 40 megawatts.

Cordova said CENECO, being a public utility and thus performs a function which is impressed with public interest, is mandated to protect the interest of consumers at all times.

“It is our understanding that the rates we buy from the suppliers are being passed on to the consumers so the latter is the ultimate recipient of higher prices of power rates,” he said.

Cordova said this may be relevant to the latest issue involving a case before the Energy Regulatory Commission filed by Manta Power Inc. against CENECO, with which the latter denied to have a contract.

Councilor Caesar Distrito said the complaint of Cordova was endorsed to the SP by Diocesan Social Action Center director, Fr. Aniceto Buenafe. It was referred to the Committee on Laws, ordinances and Good Government, which he chairs, and the Committee on Energy chaired by Councilor Archie Baribar.

Distrito said they will invite the CENECO president, general manager and all the directors, SAC-Diocese of Bacolod, the Mayor’s Office, City Legal Office, consumers and other stakeholders to the joint committee hearing.

Lagarde said he hopes the SP will continue with the inquiry so they could present the truth, and unmask the real motive of these people.

He said this is cheap political gimmickry since Cordova is running for a seat in the CENECO Board on April 30. If he is not running, he would be serious with his advocacy, he added.

“He is a good character assassin and I do not want to go down to his level,” Lagarde said.

He said Cordova is the same person who used some members of the board to terminate him in November 2008. But later, the Court found out, and the National Electrification Administration findings established that their charges against him were all fabricated lies, he added.

Lagarde said he was vindicated by the Court and NEA and he is now planning to pursue legal action against Cordova.*CGS



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