No magic quick fix to power rates but NEPC ready for improvements

Negros Electric and Power Corporation president Roel Castro said on Tuesday, May 21, that the Senate’s final  approval of the bill granting NEPC’s  franchise  brings them closer to the execution of the joint venture agreement that will allow their  take over the power distribution services of Central Negros Electric Cooperative. 

However, he does not know when exactly they can start since the approved bill still needs to be signed into law by the president, Castro said at a press conference in Bacolod City. 

The fastest they can begin operations is a month and half to three months but many things are not within their control, he said. 

Castro said there will be no magic quick fix to the high power rates and the problems in the CENECO power distribution system but NEPC is ready to infuse more than P2 billion towards addressing those concerns and improving services in the next 5 years. 

We do not want to raise false expectations that there will be a quick fix, Castro said. 

CENECO acting general manager Arnel Lapore and Castro attributed the high electricity rates being felt nationwide to the increase in demand for power amid the extreme heat hitting the country. 

Castro stressed that CENECO high power rates have nothing to do with the JVA.

NEPC is 90 percent done with its temporary office at the second floor of Robinsons East, Castro said. 

He said out of the 400 plus employees of CENECO over about 230 have already expressed their intention to join NEPC that will happen soon. 

They have already spent more than   P100 million for new meters, posts and wires in preparation for the execution of the JVA from day one, Castro said.   

Lapore said he hopes CENECO power rates can go down next month  if  the  Energy Regulation  Commission’s releases provisional authority for  the Energy Development Corp. to release power.*  

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