NEA defends CENECO rates, names Lapore new acting GM

NEA Administrator Antonio Mariano Almeda and new CENECO acting general manager Arnel Lapore at a press conference Thursday.*CENECO photo

Administrator Antonio Mariano Almeda of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) officially installed lawyer Arnel Lapore as the new acting general manager of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) effective Thursday, January 19.

Almeda said his marching orders to Lapore, who replaced Vic Alvaro as acting general manager, is to reduce the systems loss and improve the collection efficiency of CENECO.

Lapore, a former CENECO president, has the knowledge and experience in managing the cooperative, he said.

Almeda said the systems loss of CENECO is at 10.13 percent that by NEA standards is not acceptable so he is challenging Lapore to bring it down to a single digit.

“Hopefully he will be successful in bringing it down, I gave him a timeline of 60 days but that may be a tall order considering there’s this aspect of CENECO being undermanned,” he said.

Almeda said he suggested that Lapore seek the help of local government officials from the mayors to the barangay captains to minimize the systems loss brought about by pilferage and illegal connections.

Lapore said the 60-day challenge is accepted, but stressed that it cannot be done alone, it needs the cooperation of all.

Almeda also called on Lapore to ensure a 95 percent collection efficiency for CENECO as mandated by NEA, from the current 93 percent.

Meanwhile, the current rate for CENECO’s generation mix is very much acceptable considering the ongoing global crisis for fossil fuel and the limited supply of renewable energy sources in the country, Almeda said.

“As far as NEA is concerned there is no reason for us to think of any mismanagement by CENECO. They are doing good in trying to negotiate for their rates,” he said.

“So I would like to appeal to the different consumer groups, here in CENECO to let them do their work. It is very counterproductive to insinuate mismanagement when in fact it is within the prevailing market prices,” he said.

He appealed to consumer groups to be more circumspect in their statements “because we might just be sowing unnecessary fear and intrigue among the member consumers”.

“I can rule out mismanagement because the prevailing (CENECO) generation mix is within the accepted price range in the market,” he said.

He said an average generation rate of P10 per kWh is low compared to some areas where it is already at P16 per kWh.*

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