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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, December 5, 2017
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Explain P414.6M claim

The Energy Regulatory Commissionhas directed Central Negros Electric Cooperative to hold a clarification conference to explain to the intervenors and the public its computation of P414.6 million inover/under recovery that it plans to collect from its consumers, before the Commission resolves its case.

The order was issued to Ceneco by ERC hearing officer Rhett Roswell Mislang duringthe hearing of the electric cooperative's application for approval of its over/under recoveries.

Mislang said ERC provided a formula to help them determine if the collection made by Ceneco from 2004 to 2011 was over or under.

Since the intervenors had no plans of presenting their witnesses during the hearing, they agreed that before the ERC comes out with its memoranda or final position paper, another conference should be held byCeneco to explain to the intervenors and the public its computation, he said.

Ceneco should be able to explain its computation for everybody to understand, so when the intervenors issue their position papers, their stand will be clearer. The ERC wants everything to be clear before it resolves the case, Mislang said.

Cenecosays it has under recovery of P414.6 million. Soit was told to apply the formula of ERC to determine if there are other items they have not included in the computation, he said.

Mislang said this is just an application and this is not yet final. But the final computation will be based on the evaluation of the Commission on what thecorrect amount should be.

And from there, they will come out with their decision after they have received all the position papers of the intervenors and after determining if these are sufficient, he said.

If the ERC sees the need for more hearings, it can conduct more. But this will depend on the position papers of the intervenors, Mislang said.

The ERC decided to hold the hearing in Bacolod since its consumer-members are very active and there was a request from theintervenors to conduct one here, he said.

Mislang said the consumer-members, as a matter of right, should be able, should be willing, and should be ready to participate in any case filed before the ERC because they are oneswho will be affected.

It is mandatory for Ceneco to collect but they should first submit a scheme on how it should collect the amount over a period of time. If it collects the amount right away, this will greatly burden the consumers, he said.

Vicente Petierrelll, legal counsel of the Social Action Center, said they will continue their opposition considering that Ceneco is not insuch bad shape that it has to collect the P414.6 million in under-recovery.

It's a good thing that ERC has set a clarification conference because these are technical matters that should be explained to the intervenors, he said.

Petierre saidthere were matters admitted during the cross examinations like for instance admittance regarding systems loss of Ceneco amounting to P75 million. There is no need to collect the amount because Ceneco does not even know how to come up with the technical or non-technical losses. These things matter in the application of Ceneco, he said.

Power Watch secretary general Wennie Sancho said the consumers should attend the hearings of the ERC. He believes many do not understand the issues on over/under recovery being discussed by the ERC in the hearing.

Sancho said this will be an additional burden to the consumers aside from the avalanche of other unexplained charges.

Many do not understand the issue on over/under recovery. What they only understand is that every time ERC holds a hearing, it will entail additional charges to be passed on to the consumers, he said.

Also present at the hearing were intervenorsElinoreCabanilla, Romeo Lavilla, Bayan Muna represented by Alejandro Deoma, Roger Reyes, representatives from the Bacolod City government, and other oppositors.*CGS




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