Power theft hits P325M annually, Ceneco tags top pilferage areas

Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) that has incurred annual pilferage losses of P325 million has launched an aggressive campaign to arrest and file charges against pilferers.

Topping CENECO’s pilferage watch list are areas under its Sum-ag Feeder 1, which include barangays Handumanan, Felisa and Cabug, Engineer Leo Arimas, CENECO Technical Services Division chief, said at a press conference on Thursday, June 2.

These are the areas where pilferage has been very rampant, he said.

Ceneco is increasing its inspection crews from three to eight and is offering rewards to those who report persons pilfering power, Arimas said, adding that about 60 to 70 are caught per month.

The identities of those who provide pilferage tips will be kept confidential, he said.

They are also tapping the help of barangay officials, Arimas added.

Ceneco is working on reducing its systems loss to prevent its cost from being passed on to consumers, Engineer Norman Pollentes, CENECO corporate planning manager, said.

Lawyer Leonie Vee Garanzo-Apuhin, CENECO regulatory and compliance officer, said so far one person has been jailed for pilferage of electricity.

Ceneco will also strictly enforce its one bill policy, which was relaxed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Malou Parroco, CENECO public relations officer, said.

An electricity bill must be paid within nine days after it was rendered, or a notice of disconnection will be issued wherein a consumer will be given
48 hours to pay, she said.

This rule is provided for under the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers, Parroco added.*

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