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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, June 22, 2020
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Noneco opposes bill to privatize
electric cooperatives in Negros
BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA

 

The Northern Negros Electric Cooperative Inc. (Noneco) is strong opposing a proposed bill in the House of Representatives to privatize electric cooperatives in Negros Island.

Noneco, in a statement posted on its Facebook page, said its general manager, Danny Pondevilla, leader of its labor organization, and employees “willingly showed their support against privatization.”

The statement added, the employees of the power utility firm, member-consumer-owners, and the whole community of the electric coop strongly unite in one solid call to remain as an electric cooperative and denounced House Bill 03962 and its forceful move for the privatization of Noneco, and all other electric cooperatives in Negros Island.

The proposed bill that seeks to grant the Gamboa Hermanos Farmworkers Multi-Purpose Cooperative a franchise to construct, install, establish, create, own, manage, and maintain distribution systems for the conveyance of electric power to the end-users in the island of Negros and for other purposes, was authored by Representatives Genaro Alvarez Jr. (Neg. Occ., 6th District), Gerardo Valmayor Jr. (Neg. Occ., 1st District), and Manuel Sagarbarria, (Neg. Or., 2nd District).

The measure said it seeks to provide a “dependable and efficient electric power distribution system” for Negros Island, as well as “seeks to address the issue of high electricity prices and recurring blackouts through a regime of efficient and quality service to end-users.”

But for Noneco, it said in the statement that the effect of privatization will primarily change the course and concept of its operation, from being a service-oriented cooperative to a profit-oriented utility, creating inequality among the poor in accessing social and economic development brought by high service charges and fees during the application for membership and service connection, and high electricity rates, depriving consumers the right to access to electricity.

Noneco also called on the five electric cooperatives in Negros Island to “unite and strongly oppose moves to privatize electric cooperatives.”

The power utility firm caters to consumers in the north, from E.B. Magalona to San Carlos City.*

 

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