Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday said he hopes the new set of directors of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative Board will be very transparent and will consider making decisions that will benefit the public.
The newly-elected members of the Board of CENECO will hold their first board meeting today at the CENECO office in Bacolod City.
CENECO director Arnel Lapore said their agenda includes the election of the new officers of the Board, invitations, and several unfinished business during their previous board meeting.
When asked for his expectations, Leonardia said they will wait for the result of the elections and see if it is the kind of administration that is receptive.
He said they hope that what happened before will not happen again, particularly when CENECO refused to buy power from a cheaper source and instead bought from a more expensive plant, he said.
They only learned of it when Green Core brought the matter to their attention, he added.
As a result, consumers now feel the effects of the rate increase in their electric bills, Leonardia said.
CENECO general manager Sulpicio Lagarde Jr. had said they will be purchasing power from Green Core and that they were assured by the power supplier that it will immediately respond to their request.
But why only now? Leonardia asked. When Green Core had available power, CENECO refused to buy from it, he said.
Councilor Caesar Distrito, had earlier said CENECO is giving the people false hope since Green Core has already announced that it does not have available electricity left.
Meanwhile, Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) said electric distribution utilities in the country are moving towards privatizing their operations.
He said the advantages are they will be immune from political interferences, they will get an efficient and skilled management team that will address the concerns of the consumers, since they will be able to convert their facilities to the most efficient system, and they cannot just unilaterally increase power rates because they have the Energy Regulatory Commission to contend with.
Asked for his reaction, Leonardia said he is very open to the idea and expects that there will be studies made.
“Normally, there is the tendency that privatization will lead to more efficiency and a private organization can run like a corporation,” he said. “Whereas if it is government or semi-government, there are, somehow always hindrances like having to pass through audit and there are no shortcuts,” he added.*CGS