We are in the process of powering up Bacolod City and Central Negros. From the plebiscite, the next step is the franchise. In an ambitious endeavor to transform the electrical distribution landscape in Central Negros, 3 lawmakers have authored House Bill number 9310 in Congress. Sponsored by Negrense Representatives Joseph Stephen Paduano, Juliet Marie De Leon Ferrer, and Francisco Benitez, this bill seeks to grant the Negros Electric and Power Corporation (NEPC) a franchise that could revolutionize electricity access in key areas.
The Negros Electric and Power Corporation (NEPC)
NEPC’s first move will be to infuse an initial capital of PhP 2 Billion pesos into rehabilitating and modernizing the electric power distribution utility. This fund will aid in transforming our current system into a reliable and efficient service company for consumers, businesses, institutions, and other users in its franchise area. The area of coverage includes the Cities of Bacolod, Silay, Talisay, and Bago, as well as the Municipalities of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto.
Currently, Central Negros Electric Cooperative Inc. (CENECO) oversees electrical distribution in these localities, but its franchise is set to expire in 2030. CENECO also faces limitations due to restricted funding so there is no room for additional Capital Expenditures and they have a lack of access to modern technology.
To address these challenges and pave the way for a more efficient power distribution, CENECO’s member-consumer-owners have recently agreed to a joint venture with Primelectric Holdings Incorporated/NEPC, a sister company of MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power) in Iloilo City.
MORE Power’s impressive track record is evident in its swift rehabilitation and modernization of Iloilo City’s distribution system. Within just three years of taking over the neglected facilities, they reduced system losses, welcomed over 30,000 new customers, and lowered power costs. Local officials and consumers in Iloilo City and neighboring areas have lauded MORE Power’s accomplishments in just a short time.
NEPC distinguishes itself with its experienced management team, which shows in the leadership behind MORE Power. Additionally, NEPC benefits from the substantial financial resources of the group that controls publicly listed companies, such as Bloomberry Resorts Corporation (BLOOM), Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWC), and Apex Mining Company, Inc. (APX).
The three lawmakers behind the proposed house bill, officially submitted last September 25, believe that NEPC has the proven capabilities to revolutionize power distribution in Central Negros. They assert that granting NEPC the franchise could spur economic growth and enhance the quality of life in the areas covered. They also called for the support of Members of Congress to ensure the timely passage of this measure, recognizing the potential it holds for the region’s progress.