BACOLOD CITY– Engineer Norman Pollentes, corporate planning division manager of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) said there is no overcontracting between them and its power suppliers.
“No overcontracting. All the contracts made in the past were based on many economic factors,” said Pollentes.
Ceneco will start next year the procurement through a competitive selection process in lieu of the four contracts that will expire in 2025.
Pollentes said all of the power supply contracts of Ceneco will not be implemented without the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
If there are issues on the power supply contracts, those will affect the credibility of the ERC because it approved the contracts, he added.
Pollentes said the sole authority for all questions on issues raised involving power industries are given to ERC.
Meanwhile, Power Watch Negros Secretary General Wennie Sancho said there must be measures to prevent overcontracting in the future.
“Since this cooperative is imbued with public interest, it is our moral duty to safeguard the process of power purchase agreement to insure transparency and accountability, after all, this is our cooperative,” Sancho said.
Moreover, Sancho believed the public should have access to the power supply contracts to the ERC for review and approval.
“For all other contracts that were not implemented, these are still subject for approval of the ERC,” Pollentes said.
Pollentes added that they can always be an intervenor for those cases that were not yet approved by the ERC.
“If we are the intervenor, the competence of being an intervenor is also very critical in order for us to be effective in ensuring the quality of the cases of the power supply,” said Pollentes.
Sancho said the board of directors (BOD) have no training in power supply contracting so they only rely on the data and recommendations of the electric cooperatives.
“What if the forecast data presented by management were manipulated? What if there is a collusion between some members of the BOD and key management people?” Sancho asked.
BOD vote on proposals and resolutions presented to them by the management of the electric cooperatives.
“Since data presentation was very technical in nature, the BOD have to rely on the accuracy and truthfulness of the data being presented and on the supposed professional judgment,” Sancho said.
Pollentes said they will conduct a technical training for the intervenors to aid them more knowledge in power supply contracting.
Sancho added that member-consumers must be allowed to gain access to the audit findings pertaining to the loss incurred by Ceneco for 18 months.
According to National Electrification Administration (NEA)-ECAD audit report, from 26 December 2014 to 25 June 2016, Ceneco incurred P315 million losses from selling back to wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) the unutilized or excess energy contracted from Filinvest Development Corporation Utilities, Inc.
“I think it is high time that the government should look into power contract agreements,” Sancho said.