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Negros Power Prepares For CENECO Takeover Amidst Rising Rates

Negros Power Prepares For CENECO Takeover Amidst Rising Rates

NEPC Franchise Update. L-R: National Electrification Administration Project Supervisor Atty. Vic Alvaro, NEPC President and CEO Mr. Roel Castro, and Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) General Manager Atty. Arnel Lapore

The Negros Electric and Power Corporation (NEPC), also known as Negros Power, is a visionary entity that has been making significant strides towards restructuring the power distribution services in Central Negros. The recent approval of the bill granting NEPC’s franchise by the Senate, which is currently awaiting the President’s signature, has brought the corporation one step closer to executing the joint venture agreement with Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO).

Taking the reins of power distribution services is no easy feat, but NEPC’s president, Roel Castro, is undeterred by the challenges that lie ahead. At a recent press conference in Bacolod City held at Park Inn Hotel Bacolod, Castro stated that while it’s uncertain when exactly NEPC can start its operations, he anticipates the fastest they can begin is a month and a half to three months.

However, Castro was quick to dispel any misconceptions of an overnight transformation. He emphasized that there will be no magic quick fix to the high power rates and the issues in the CENECO power distribution system. Instead, NEPC is prepared to infuse more than 2 billion pesos towards addressing these concerns and improving services over the next five years.

Negros Power Prepares For CENECO Takeover Amidst Rising Rates

CENECO residential electricity rate breakdown in the last three months

The need for improvements in the power sector is pressing. The high electricity rates felt nationwide are attributed to the increase in demand for power amidst the extreme heat experienced in the country. NEPC’s planned investments and take-over of power distribution services aim to alleviate these concerns and provide better service to the residents of Negros.

NEPC’s readiness to take on this challenge is evident in their proactive approach. The corporation has already spent more than 100 million pesos for new meters, posts, and wires in preparation for the execution of the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) from day one. They have also completed 90 percent of its temporary office at the second floor of Robinsons East, and of the 400 plus employees of CENECO, over 230 have already expressed their intention to join NEPC.

The joint venture with CENECO is expected to start operation by the third quarter of this year. NEPC’s franchise under House Bill (HB) 9805, which gained support from 22 senators, enables the corporation to establish, operate, and maintain a distribution system for supplying electric power to end-users in six localities.

Negros Power Prepares For CENECO Takeover Amidst Rising Rates

CENECO residential electricity rate breakdown for May 2024

In anticipation of the new responsibilities that come with the franchise, NEPC has already begun to deploy five response teams in Bacolod city and set up a temporary office with about 250 workspaces. They have also allocated over 2 billion pesos for the execution of the joint venture and capital expenditures program for CENECO.

The focus of NEPC’s joint venture with CENECO is to rehabilitate and modernize the distribution system, which Castro deems crucial in providing quality service to their consumers. As the province moves forward, the contributions and initiatives of organizations such as NEPC will be instrumental in shaping a more sustainable and energy-efficient future for Negros. While the road to transformation might be long, the commitment and preparation of NEPC towards these improvements are indeed promising signs of better times to come for the power sector in Negros.

The Blue Ink

Dhadha Garcia is a lifestyle blogger from Bacolod, PH. She is a mompreneur, a full-time blogger, and a content creator. She started blogging in 2007 and became one of the pioneers of the Negrense Blogging Society, Inc. (NBSI) in 2009, where she has received several awards and nominations for her blogs. She also writes at www.twenteenmom.com and www.classysweets.com.

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