More power to Negros

By Herbert Vego

MY friend Casiano Mayor, 81 – who runs Marilyn’s Kitchen in Bacolod City — has been is getting impatient over the entry of a better power distributor to replace the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco), which is saddled with ₱600 million debts to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and several, banks. What if the cooperative falls under the weight of that indebtedness?

Please wait, Mr. Mayor. Ceneco having inked a joint venture with Primelectric to give birth to Negros Electric and Power Corp. (NEPC) – Negros Power for short – it’s a matter of time before your wish comes true.

“By the third quarter this year” was the guess given by NEPC president and chief executive officer Roel Castro.  This is because the Senate had approved on third reading House Bill (HB) 9805, allowing NEPC to establish, operate, and supplying electricity to six localities — Bacolod, Silay, Talisay, Bago, Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto — on initial investment of ₱2.1 billion.

President Marcos is expected to affix his signature or it would simply lapse into law 30 days after receipt by his office.

This early, Negros Power has set up a temporary office.

“Out of the 400-plus employees of Ceneco, about 220 or 230 have already expressed their intention to join NEPC,” Castro said.

Negros Power is an affiliate of Iloilo City’s MORE Power, which, in the past four years, has already proven itself capable of modernizing its operation.



WHILE in San Jose, Antique last Sunday, I watched the radio/FB program “Tribuna sang  Banwa,” featuring Raisa Treñas as guest.

Raisa, daughter of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, works as one of the local government’s executive assistants. She intends to run for congresswoman in 2025.

The month of May being “Labor Month,” Raisa spearheaded the group of the city’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO) which accommodated applicants to the “Mega Jobs Fair” at Robinson Mall last May 17.

Her initiative paid off. Interviewers from 121 private companies here and abroad came to receive applications and interview the job applicants.

“There were 2,157 job seekers who filled up application forms,” she said. “Of that number, 1,601 qualified for employment.  The luckiest 101 were hired on the spot. But there were 1,100 more who had to come back for further interviews and so are still hopeful to make it.”

Why not?  There are 11,000 positions needing to be filled up, including positions that are available to senior citizens and persons with disability.

Her passion for the labor sector reveals she is mana kasi sa ama. I can still recall that when Raisa’s Dad Jerry first won as mayor in 2001, his battle cry was “Kauswagan sang Banwa, Trabaho sa Masa.”



THY KINGDOM is the famous Manila-based dance crew who are coming to Iloilo City on Sunday to conduct dance workshops for Ilonggo dancers, “Resurgence: First Wave,” at the Casa Real Grand Social Hall of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.

Thy Kingdom has earned recognition in various local, regional, and national competitions since 2017. In the World Supremacy Battlegrounds 2024, for example, they bagged the crown for the cell division and 2nd place for the monster crew division. Thus, they have qualified for the same presentations somewhere in Australia this September.

The registration for the “Resurgence: First Wave” workshops registration is on-going with regular rates of ₱600 for one class and ₱1,000 for two classes; walk-in rates of ₱700 and ₱1,200, respectively.

If interested, please walk through the Thy Kingdom’s Facebook page or call Globe cellular phone No. 09179868060.



TIRED from a long drive, I stopped by 5Js eatery in Tigbauan, Iloilo.  I had two companions, of whom one is a senior citizen like me.  Our bill amounted to more than ₱400 despite the two senior citizens’ ID we presented.

Sensing the high cost of my hamburger at ₱175, I wondered why its price had not been discounted.

“We don’t give discounts to seniors,” the lady in charge candidly explained.

I had thought that since the restaurant occupies a government property, the management would be sensitive to Republic Act 9994, commonly known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. Under that law, all Filipino residents 60 years or older are automatically entitled to a restaurant discount of 20 percent on top of VAT exemption, among other privileges.

Naku ha, magagalit sa inyo si Mayor Virgilio “Nene” Teruel.