About 20 progressive groups and civic organizations signed a manifesto opposing the proposed joint venture agreement between Central Negros Electric Cooperative and Ignite Power and Energy Holdings Inc. (MORE Power) at the St. Marie Vianney Hall of the San Sebastian Complex in Bacolod City, Wednesday, May 24.
The signing of the manifesto was also the launching of the Anti-CENECO Joint Venture Agreement Coalition which aims to call on the member-consumers of the electric cooperative to oppose the JVA by initiating information dissemination drives.
Among the members of the coalition are Negros Consumers’ Watch, CENECO Union of Rational Employees (CURE), Responsible Supervisory and Confidential Union of Employees, Konsumers Negros, BMP-Sanlakas, WORD’s Women Organization, Bayan Negros, Kadamay Negros, Pamalakaya Negros;
HRAN Negros, BACIWA Employees Union, BARM Negros, Social Action Center of the Diocese of Bacolod, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Partidong Manggagawa, and UNDOC/BACOD.
Rey Gorgonio, CURE legal counsel, told DIGICAST NEGROS that this coalition aims to wage an all-out campaign against the JVA and the privatization of the electric cooperative because of its various ill effects.
“We really want to go to the grassroots and campaign for our opposition and conduct information dissemination on the effects of the JVA in terms of delivery of service and possible skyrocketing of electric rates,” he said.
The manifesto stated that the JVA will result in the increase of power rates to ensure a return on investment and to profit from the disadvantaged and suffering consumers.
“CENECO is not an ailing cooperative… but is being peddled as an ailing and mismanaged cooperative to justify its sell-out or power grab,” the manifesto also stated.
It also added that the JVA will result in the retrenchment of CENECO employees as provided for in the proposed agreement, in clear violation of the Labor Code of the Philippines which is “utterly unfair and oppressive.”
Gorgonio said their group has already aired their opposition to the proposed JVA to the CENECO executives and board of directors and furnished copies of their position papers to various interest groups.
He also called for transparency in the process of the proposed JVA.*