SC rejects TRO petition vs. Primelectric and CENECO

supreme court

The Regional Trial Court Branch 42 of Bacolod rejected the petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the joint venture agreement between the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) and Primelectric Holdings Inc., an affiliate of Enrique Razon-led MORE Electric and Power Corp.

In a ruling on June 22, the rejected TRO petition is due to the petitioner’s failure to adhere to a specific provision of the law.

Representatives of the Negros Consumers Watch and Convenors of CENECO Anti JVA Coalition filed a petition seeking the declaration of nullity of the joint venture agreement, along with an application for the issuance of a preliminary injunction and a TRO.

On June 3, Primelectric signed a joint venture agreement with CENECO with the aim of enhancing the provision of power supply and distribution services to CENECO’s 200,000+ consumers.

The process of ratifying the signed agreement by the member-consumers began on June 24 through a series of plebiscites held over three weekends.

According to the guidelines set by the National Electrification Administration (NEA), the joint venture agreement requires a majority of affirmative votes to proceed.

Roel Castro, the President and CEO of MORE Power, previously announced that the company plans to invest P4 billion for the improvement of the electric power distribution system within CENECO’s franchise area as part of their joint venture.

According to Castro, an initial amount of P2 billion will be allocated for asset acquisition and working capital purposes.

He added that apart from the initial P2 billion, they are also prepared with an additional P2 billion for the CAPEX program, starting from day one.

MORE Power plans to utilize its experience and expertise in enhancing services as an electric distribution utility in Iloilo City.

Castro mentioned that in Iloilo City, they were able to increase capacity by 40 percent, leading to improved service quality with fewer interruptions and brownouts.

In 2020, MORE Power assumed control of the distribution assets of Panay Electric Co. in Iloilo City.