NEGROS ELECTRIC and Power Corp. (NEPC) said it will attend to issues raised by a House committee, after it had been granted a preliminary franchise approval for Negros Occidental.
In a statement on Wednesday, Roel Z. Castro, president of NEPC parent company Primelectric Holdings, Inc. said it expects to submit within the week documentation that will address issues raised by committee members.
The House committee on legislative franchises granted preliminary approval to House Bill 9310 during a hearing on Monday chaired by Parañaque Rep. Gustavo S. Tambunting.
The bill outlines the transfer of the franchise from Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) to NEPC. The transfer will be effected via a Primelectric investment in Ceneco.
PBA Party-list Rep. Margarita B. Nograles moved for in-principle approval for the bill, subject to style changes and the submission of documents being sought from the Energy Regulatory Commission, the National Electrification Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ceneco, and Primelectric.
NEPC’s franchise covers power services to cities like Bacolod, Silay, Talisay, and Bago, as well as the municipalities of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto.
NEPC is structured as a 70-30 joint venture between Primelectric and Ceneco, respectively.
NEPC is an affiliate company of More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power), which serves Iloilo City. NEPC and MORE Power are units of Prime Strategic Holdings, Inc., controlled by Enrique K. Razon, Jr.
Mr. Castro said Ceneco users have complained of uneven power services, making it a matter of urgency for new investment to come in.
“The electric service is not really that good; they have frequent brownouts, and when I say ‘frequent’, it’s normal to say that it’s daily. It takes (Ceneco) months to comply when you apply for a new connection,” Mr. Castro said.
He said the group is confident it can improve service quality given the track record of MORE Power in Iloilo City.
“I would say that the approach to rehabilitate and make a turnaround is something we have done in Iloilo, and now we aim to do the same in Negros,” Mr. Castro said.
MORE Power claims a service response time of 15 minutes in Iloilo, a level of responsiveness Mr. Castro hopes to replicate across the new Negros franchise area. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera