Group pushes for NEPC franchise approval by Senate

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY — On International Labor Day, PowerWatch, through its secretary-general Wennie Sancho, called for the solidarity of all electricity consumers on Negros Island, urging support for the Negros Electric Power Corporation (NEPC) in their bid to secure a legislative franchise from the Senate.

Sancho highlighted the frequent power outages affecting daily life, saying, “We are suffering from regular power outages every day and night depriving us of the quality of life that we deserve. These are compounded by bill shocks, brownouts, red and yellow alerts, and pass-on charges from anomalous power supply agreements.”

The call for action coincides with NEPC’s efforts to take over operations from the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO).

According to Sancho, NEPC aims to foster a unified and coordinated effort in Negros Island toward just power transition and energy democracy. This includes negotiating and concluding power supply agreements that benefit both energy players and electricity consumers.

“The goal of NEPC is not only to enhance the operation of CENECO but also to ensure that the consumers’ needs are at the forefront of our utility services, prioritizing efficacy over profit,” Sancho added.

He also emphasized NEPC’s commitment to empowering consumers by providing them with platforms to voice their concerns, recommendations, and solutions in the decision-making process. This approach is expected to transform consumers into active participants in shaping the energy landscape.

“From these democratic spaces will arise a new, empowered, and productive consumer ready to meet the challenges of time,” Sancho remarked.

NEPC’s role is seen as pivotal in navigating the power transition on Negros Island, tasked with upgrading the electricity infrastructure and advising policymakers on crucial investments, regulations, and planning needed for sustainable economic progress and development.

“Our partnership with NEPC aligns with the government’s program that places consumer education at the cornerstone of energy policy, acknowledging the essential role of good governance and transparency in the energy sector, ” Sancho said.


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