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Bacolod Business News

Power Watch Negros To CENECO Eligible Consumers: Claim Your Rightful Bill Deposit Refund

Power Watch Negros Secretary-General Wennie Sancho released a Press Statement last July 27, 2023, regarding the campaign encouraging qualified CENECO consumers to claim their bill deposit refund ASAP in accordance with Article 7 of the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers.

Power Watch Negros To CENECO Eligible Consumers: Claim Your Rightful Bill Deposit Refund

Article 7 of the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers

Article 7 states that the bill deposit provided shall be refunded within one month by the concerned distribution utility (in this case, CENECO) from the termination of service if all bills have been paid.

If the customer has paid his electric bills on or before its due date for three consecutive years, he/she may demand for the full refund of the deposit even before the termination of his service. He should file an application for this purpose with the distribution utility concerned. All new and existing residential consumers of distribution utilities may avail themselves of the refund.

Request of Power Watch Negros for Confirmation of the Status of Bill Deposit

Power Watch Negros To CENECO Eligible Consumers: Claim Your Rightful Bill Deposit Refund

According to the Magna Carta, bill deposits can be refunded to consumers who have paid on time for 36 months without experiencing disconnection. Apart from the bill deposit, an annual interest rate is also credited to the customer’s account to be deducted from their next billing.

Power Watch Negros has written CENECO’s Finance Manager, Mr. Victor Rada and requested for a certification from the Finance Department of CENECO to confirm the status and amount of the bill deposit classified as restricted fund, and that it should be deposited in an established bank.

It will put up a refund center to help qualified consumers to begin the process by applying for the refund of their bill deposit. The amount will be released within a month of receiving such an application.

Power Watch believes that the consumers are entitled to the bill deposit and that they have every right to demand their money.

CENECO’s Financial Losses

As of June 2023, CENECO has incurred losses amounting to more than Php 600 million (NEA loans, bank loans, Restricted Funds: Bill Deposit, Retirement Fund, and KSPC Bond). According to Acting GM Arnel Lapore, Php 277 million of the bill deposit was already borrowed by CENECO to cover their losses.

Consumer Realizations

CENECO consumers need to realize that they have every right to a bill deposit refund. The huge problem is that Php 277 million of their money has already been spent by CENECO to pay their debts.

The solution to their predicament is the Primelectric and CENECO JVA (Joint Venture Agreement). Through the JVA, they’ll be able to claim their bill deposit refund. How? CENECO will get the money from the Php 1.7 billion that Primelectric (Negros Power) will pay for their distribution assets.

MORE Power’s Bill Deposit Refund in Iloilo

Power Watch Negros To CENECO Eligible Consumers: Claim Your Rightful Bill Deposit Refund

New Batch of MORE Power consumers receives Bill Deposit Refunds. MORE Power Iloilo continues to provide financial relief to its valued consumers as the second batch of bill deposit refunds was distributed last July 2023.

The second round of bill deposit refunds for eligible consumers in Iloilo City has already been given by MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power), and it expects to return the bill deposit of 65 eligible consumers by the end of July 2023. In a statement, MORE Power President and CEO Mr. Roel Castro said that the bill deposit refunds are the consumers’ rights under the Magna Carta for Residential Consumers and are not rewards.

Under the law, this is what CENECO should be doing in Bacolod. But not once has CENECO distributed any amount of bill deposit refunds for qualified consumers. In CENECO, the bill deposits of consumers are not refunded because they are used as payment for their debts. In MORE Power, the bill deposit is returned to consumers after three years.

What Should Be Done

If you want to experience what the consumers in Iloilo have experienced with regards to their bill deposit refunds and be able to enjoy the money you paid, then you should VOTE YES to the Primelectric and CENECO JVA. If that pushes through, what happened in Iloilo will also happen in Bacolod.

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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