‘SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE’: Negrense consumers will benefit from Ceneco JVA, Iloilo biz leader says

Engr. Terence Uygongco, Iloilo Economic Development Foundation chairman.

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – A business leader from Iloilo City said consumers will benefit from the proposed joint venture between Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) and Ignite Power citing how the improved landscape of the power distribution in Iloilo City has “revitalized” the local economy.

Recently, Ignite Power president Roel V. Castro, who is also the president and COO of MORE Power, the power distributor in Iloilo City, made a presentation of the proposed JVA to Ceneco officials and stakeholders.

“Why not listen, assess, and consider? For us here they have changed the landscape of the power distribution and in terms of improvement, we are very happy,” said Engr. Terence Uygongco, chairman of the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation.

Uygongco told Bacolod media that the JVA is an opportunity to improve the power supply reliability of Ceneco in Bacolod.

“Sa business side seguro kag sa consumers, wala man sila pierdehon if they study, they listen, they welcome and embrace ang joint venture nga gina palab-ot sang Ignite Power. Ultimately it is the consumers that will benefit,” he pointed out.

Uygongco said the business sector in Iloilo City is satisfied with the services of MORE Power, which is controlled by tycoon Enrique Razon.

“I don’t have the number but definitely kadaku sang improvement in terms of power such as unscheduled interruptions and unplanned power outages nga gina-attribute sa ila naibanan and the time to respond to such situations has really improved,” he added.

He also commended MORE Power for effectively reducing systems loss or electricity lost to technical reasons or pilferage, which also lowered the power rates.

“We are now only paying for what we consumed, indi iya sang iban,” he pointed out.

He also said that MORE Power also increased its consumer base by 30,000.

“These are not new business, these are probably illegal tappers before nga subong legit na. That is a very welcome development not for them but for us consumers because ang systems loss manubo now it’s below 10 percent,” he said.

He also pointed out that the number of business processes outsourcing firms and other businesses that invested in Iloilo has increased adding that “because they see the stability of power as one of the good points we can offer.”

He recalled that “we came from a very unstable, very high rates distribution utility. Iloilo then was branded as one of the places with the most expensive power in the Philippines. They were able to bring it down although again nag-mahal because coal prices have gone up worldwide.”

“So I think as long as we in the business side, ang consumers are properly appraised of the situation and transparent lang gid ang distribution utility, I think the business community can always work with them,” Uygongco said.

“We came from a point where it was all complaints but now we are happy, especially the time it takes for them to respond to fix the trouble daku ang improvement.”