Group says JVA not the solution to Ceneco woes

Consumer group Amlig-Kuryente said there are other solutions to the problems of Central Negros Cooperative (Ceneco) instead of entering into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with Ignite Power.

Amlig-Kuryente convenor and former Bacolod City councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. said in a forum last month that entering into the JVA would be tantamount to “surrendering and selling out the basic human right of Members-Consumers-Owners (MCOs) to electricity which is a basic commodity and service imbued with public interest.”

He explained that this “surrender of human rights” is “abnegating cooperative and government functions and duties to manage, run and operate a public utility like Ceneco to a private business that would engulf government resources and, worst, for a profit, thus leaving the MCOs to suffer unjustifiable rate increases, fees, charges, unreasonable adjustments, pass-on charges, among others.”

In various media platforms, Ceneco is portrayed to be “bleeding” due to lack of capitalization and its high systems loss or power lost to technical reasons and pilferage.

Gamboa said Ceneco’s Board of Directors (BOD) and Management must “creatively design a ‘relief package’ for all uncollected accounts from Local Government Units (LGU) and barangays, like Barangay Singcang for illegal tapping and the City of Bacolod for its outstanding account.

Ceneco can also design additional revenue measures by collecting appropriate charges from cable and telecommunication companies using its electric poles.

Gamboa added that Ceneco’s BOD and Management must utilize the Reinvestment Funds from Sustainable CAPEX or RFSC which is charged to all consumers every billing period.

The fund now runs in the billions at sits idly in a commercial bank.

He also suggested availing a P7-billion loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

After all, Ignite Power will likewise do the same by using the JVA as collateral, he added.

Gamboa also explained that the systems losses incurred by Ceneco are “a management issue brought about by mismanagement, inefficiency in the monitoring system, corruption and is a pass-on charge (to consumers) in the first place.”

To solve its systems loss woes, Gamboa said Ceneco must invest in pieces of equipment and technology like the integration and application of the Systems Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA).

Ceneco can also change the composition of the BOD and management by getting rid of the “incompetent and those who resort to a ‘defeatist approach’ over these management issues with nothing else to offer but the JVA.”

Gamboa reiterated that Ceneco “must honestly obtain Power Supply Agreement (PSA) following the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) or bidding, in partnership with an honest government regulatory agency, i.e., National Electrification Administration, Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission.”


He stressed must Ceneco “must democratize itself as a cooperative by conducting massive information, education and communication campaign to MCOs and transform itself into a genuine and true consumers’ cooperative which requires registration with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).