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HomeLocal NewsWhy be afraid of privatization? Labor advocate says CENECO employees wary of...

Why be afraid of privatization? Labor advocate says CENECO employees wary of JVA as it would affect their “interests”

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Wennie Sancho had not been afraid of going against the tide.

Many years ago, in the 1990s, when radicalism dominated the labor movement in Negros island, Wennie had never been afraid of taking a moderate stance, a little Left of center, if he were to describe it.

He advocated for labor rights but always within the context of the Labor Code of the Philippines, what he might call as the “bible” of labor organizers.

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Now, Wennie is taking a more sober and informed stance as the debate heats up on the joint proposal of MORE Power and Manila Electric Company or MERALCO – both under Ignite Power for a joint venture agreement with the Central Negros Electric Cooperative.

Sancho, who also heads the Power Watch Negros Advocate, said the position taken by the supervisory union on the issue only indicates its members are acting based on their interests and might be afraid of losing their high salaries and perks.

The former labor sector representative to the Wages and Productivity Board in Region 6 called employees of CENECO “spoiled and pampered” as he pounted out that supervisors receive up to P50,000 a month in base pays on top of their benefits.

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He also questioned the status of the Responsible Supervisory and Confidential Union of Employees as he pointed out that confidential employees cannot be organized along with mid-level employees.

Sancho added while some opposing the JVA are doing so on the grounds that it would lead to privatization, he said CENECO is already partly privatized as its consumers are paying 12 percent VAT and the employees are coveres by the Social Security System, the pension fund trust for employees of private firms

Watch this video interview with Wennie Sancho to know more.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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