Central Negros Electric Cooperative reported about P2 million in losses yesterday from the 14-hour black-out in some of its service areas in the northern part of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City Tuesday.
CENECO general manager Sulpicio Lagarde said their 69KV line from Brgy. Mansilingan in Bacolod City to Silay City tripped off at about 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The power interruption affected the cities of Silay and Talisay, Eroreco and Mountain View Subdivisions and Villa Lucasan in Brgy. Mandalagan, Homesite Subdivision, La Salle Avenue and areas along Burgos Street in Brgy. Villamonte, Barangays Granada and Alangilan in Bacolod City.
Power was restored only at about 4 a.m. yesterday because it took some time before technicians could fix the problem since the cut line fell in the middle of a sugarcane field, Lagarde said.
He said the damaged line is already more than 30 years old having been installed in the 1980’s and should be immediately replaced.
Complainants, who turned to Facebook to air their grievances against the electric firm, said they tried calling CENECO’s hotline so they could inquire when the power will be restored, but nobody was answering them. Some claimed their calls were dropped.
Lagarde said their personnel were not hanging up the phone, but because of the number of calls they received, their telephone lines could not accommodate them, causing the dropped calls.
He advised their customers to register their cellphone numbers with CENECO so they could get updates through SMS whenever there are outages.
Lagarde reiterated the need for CENECO’s application for capital expenditure program that cost P670.9 million to be approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission so they will have sufficient funds to buy new equipment to replace the old ones.
If their CAPEX application is approved, they will also be able to prevent rotating black-outs in their service areas, he said.
CENECO filed its application in Jan 12, 2011 but it was opposed by the City government of Bacolod that anticipated that if it is approved, the power rates will also increase, Lagarde said.*APN