The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod passed a resolution Wednesday requesting Secretary Jose Rene Almendras to send a technical team from the Energy Regulatory Commission to brief members of the SP on the energy situation of Central Negros Electric Cooperative.
The SP also passed a resolution requesting the SP/Sangguniang Bayans within the jurisdiction of CENECO, to name a representative from their members, preferably, the chairman of the Committee on Energy or its equivalent, for a joint consultation meeting on current CENECO issues.
Another resolution passed requests CENECO, through its general manager, to furnish the SP of Bacolod, copies of the power sales agreements, including amendments, if any, affecting its power rates for the next five years.
The resolutions were authored by Councilor Archie Baribar, chairman of the SP Committee on Communications and Energy.
CENECO general manager Sulpicio Lagarde Jr. yesterday said he welcomes the move so all issues will be clarified. He said that is the only way that all their lies against CENECO will be exposed and they will be proven wrong.
Lagarde said they are willing to assist the city officials if they need their assistance. They also have plans to explain the contracts and have already started in Talisay, he said.
“It would be best if they can call for a public hearing so once and for all the issues against CENECO will be clarified and they will know that IN2Power and Manta have no power plants,” Lagarde said.
Meanwhile, Councilor Caesar Distrito said that, contrary, to the announcement of CENECO that their rate had decrease by 30 centavos in March, its 230,000 consumers could expect the shock of their life as the rate had increased in April by at least P1.26 per kilowatt-hour.
Distrito said CENECO consumers will shoulder an additional P2 per KWH when the complete monthly billing takes effect this May.
He said the increase was due to the power supply contract that CENECO has entered into with KEPCO.
Councilor Em Legaspi-Ang said that since the contract they had entered into took effect by the end of March 2011, the full increase of at least P2 per KWH will be reflected next month.
Distrito said if the CENECO contract with Panay Energy Development Corporation takes effect on December 2011, an estimated additional P2 will be shouldered by all the consumers, considering that the price of PEDC is higher than that of KEPCO by at least P2. “Our electric bill will be the best proof of this,” he said.
Lagarde said Distrito’s claims are not true. Where did he get his data? He asked. They are pushing for Manta that only gets power from KEPCO, he said.
CENECO has a contract with PEDC but it does not mean that the amount they have signed will become the contract price because everything will still pass the scrutiny of the ERC, Lagarde said. Their contract with PEDC will not yet take effect as no public hearing had been conducted, he said.
“They are not convinced that all rates have increased but our rate increase is still the lowest,” he added.
Lagarde said the city officials should be happy that the rate has decreased by 35 centavos.
Last December they already announced that there will be an increase by P1.27 but what came out was only P1.26 per KWH, he said.
CENECO had earlier reported that the power rates for March decreased by about 35 centavos per KWH compared to the rates in February.
CENECO promotions section head Cheryl Tortal said that among the causes for the decrease in power rates in March were the reduction of the generation system charges to 0.2819 per KWH and the decrease of the transmission system charges to 0.0348 centavo per KWH.
Aside from that, she said, the reduction of the systems loss charges to 0.0430 centavos per KWH also caused the decrease in power charges in March.
Under the EPIRA Law, electric firms are mandated to give 30 centavos per KWH rebates to residential consumers regardless of how much their consumption, she said.*CGS