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Solons seek probe on privatization of Negros Occidental electric co-op  

OPPOSITION lawmakers have called for a probe on the pending privatization of an electric cooperative in Negros Occidental through a joint venture with Ignite Power and Energy Holdings, Inc. 

The House Makabayan coalition has filed a resolution aimed at investigating the deal between Central Negros Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CENECO) and Ignite Power. 

“The JVA (joint venture agreement) proposes 70% share holdings for Ignite Power and 30% for CENECO, an arrangement that will certainly result to a total loss of control by the CENECO board of directors… and of the consumer-owners,” the solons said in House Resolution No. 955. 

CENECO’s distribution area covers the cities of Bago, Talisay, Silay, and Bacolod, capital of Negros Occidental; and the towns of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto. 

“It is imperative for Congress to reverse the trend of corporate take-over of consumer-owned electric cooperatives to ensure the accessibility and affordability of electricity to the Filipino people,” they said. 

“In order to electrify far-flung barangays and geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, the national government should give sufficient support and assistance to electric cooperatives,” the congressmen said. 

The authors of the resolution are Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers’ Party-list Rep. France L. Castro, Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Rep. Arlene D. Brosas and Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Danniel A. Manuel.  

NGCPMeanwhile, a senator has called on the Energy department and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to address recurring power shortage problems in the country. 

“Either the energy officials or the entire power system itself, is suffering from integrity problems,” Senator Ana Theresia “Risa” N. Hontiveros-Baraquel said in a statement. 

She called on the Department of Energy (DoE) and the NGCP to be transparent about the country’s power supply conditions. 

“Our consumers deserve to be informed and notified,” she said.   

The Luzon power grid was placed on red alert twice and yellow alert once on Monday. The supply instability affected the export of power to the Visayas grid, placing it under yellow alert. 

Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said that Congress has the power to hold the privately-owned NGCP accountable for power distribution in the country. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz

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