A Takeover to Watch

The imminent transition of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) to the Negros Electric and Power Corporation (NEPC) marks a pivotal moment in the history of utility management in the Philippines.

The transition, which involves the delivery of essential electrical materials and a comprehensive five-year rehabilitation and modernization plan, sets the stage for what could be a transformative period for Central Negros’ power distribution network.

The legislative approval of NEPC’s franchise, pending the signature of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., will grant the company a 25-year authority to operate in key areas of Negros Occidental. This is crucial for planning and executing substantial improvements, ensuring that residents in Bacolod, Bago, Silay, Talisay, and the municipalities of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto benefit from reliable and sustainable power.

NEPC’s takeover is more than just a change in management; it represents a significant shift towards private sector involvement in areas traditionally dominated by cooperatives. This move should serve as a template for other electric cooperatives across the country, encouraging them to consider partnerships with private entities to enhance their services and facilities.

One of the most compelling arguments for this transition is the potential for improved efficiency and reduced power costs.

Amidst rising power costs, private distribution utilities (DUs) like MORE Power have demonstrated that private corporations can indeed offer lower rates, challenging the notion that profit-oriented companies are inherently more expensive.

Instead, it suggests that with the right regulatory framework and commitment to service, private distribution utilities (DUs) can drive efficiency and cost-effectiveness, benefitting consumers and fostering economic growth.

The experience of MORE Power, which has successfully lowered rates while improving the quality service in Iloilo City, provides a hopeful precedent for NEPC’s efforts in Central Negros.

Roel Castro, President and CEO of NEPC, has emphasized the company’s commitment to providing an uninterrupted power supply, recognizing its critical role in the economic and social development of Central Negros.

The delivery of smart meters, transformers, and new poles to replace Ceneco’s outdated infrastructure underscores NEPC’s readiness to meet this commitment from day one. This proactive approach is exactly what the region needs to modernize its facilities, enhance resilience, and optimize energy distribution.

The success of NEPC’s takeover could pave the way for a broader acceptance of private-public partnerships in the utility sector.

As we confront the dual challenges of increasing energy demands and the need for sustainable practices, it is imperative to be open to more progressive and modern ways of managing our resources.

The NEPC-Ceneco transition is a test case that, if successful, could redefine utility management and set new standards for service delivery across the country.

NEPC’s takeover of Ceneco is not just a business transaction; it is a step towards embracing innovative solutions for long-standing issues in our power distribution networks. It challenges the status quo and invites other electric cooperatives to rethink their strategies and consider collaborations that could ultimately benefit the consumers they serve.

As we move forward, it is this openness to change and improvement that will drive the progress needed to meet the future demands of our growing population.


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