The five electric cooperatives in Negros Island joined their counterparts nationwide in a Black Friday protest on May 14 against takeover and privatization attempts.
The protest was in response to the call of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA), Danny Pondevilla, project supervisor and acting general manager of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO), said.
The five cooperatives are CENECO, Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative, Northern Negros Electric Cooperative (NONECO) and Negros Oriental Electric Cooperatives I and II.
Pondevilla, who is also NONECO general manager, said they staged the protest in a show of support against takeover attempts at the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) and the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (NORDECO).
The National Electrification Administration’s board of administrators has been accused of allegedly abusing its authority when it recommended a lone candidate for general manager of BENECO.
PHILRECA feels that the BENECO Board was not given the discretion to choose it general manager, Pondevilla said.
There is also an attempt to takeover NORDECO by a private entity, he said.
Malou Parroco, head of the CENECO Cooperative Promotions Section and Member Consumers Integrated Services Division, said they are also protesting the move of the Gamboa Hermanos Farmers Cooperative to take over CENECO’s franchise.
Gamboa Hermanos that is believed to have the backing of powerful politicians, including some Negros Occidental congressmen, has a pending petition in Congress, she said.
CENECO employees clad in black held up a streamer yesterday that said “we protest against all injustices and unfair treatment of electric cooperatives.”
It is also said “Hands off electric cooperatives, no to take over.”
“This is also in support of the fight for consumer welfare and to save the last frontier of public service,” a CENECO statement said.
Parroco said they will be staging Black Friday protests every Friday so their voices will be heard by the national government.*