Ceneco manager says salary hike not yet implemented

BACOLOD City – Sulpicio Lagarde Jr, general manager of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) clarified that the board resolution granting him a monthly salary rate of P250,000 is not yet implemented.

Lagarde said the resolution needs the approval of the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

“The resolution was just a recommendation,” he claimed.

Lagarde issued this clarification in reaction to a letter from Atty. Arnel Lapore, a former Ceneco director who represented himself as consumer-member of Ceneco.

In his letter dated Sept. 21 to the members of the Ceneco Board, Lapore asked for a special board meeting at the soonest possible time.

“On Sept. 20 he was informed that the Board passed a resolution granting Lagarde a monthly salary rate of P250,000 in exchange for his commitment to avail of an optional retirement under National Electrification Administration Memorandum No. 2018-003 dated Jan. 17,” the letter said.

Lagarde said he just want his salary to be the same as the general managers in South Cotabato and Batangas electric cooperatives, who receive P200,000 monthly salary.

At present, Lagarde is receiving a monthly salary of P120,000.

He justified that NEA guideline is clear, saying that Ceneco can implement the NEA salary scale intended to improve take-home income and productivity of rank in file and management employees, including the general manager’s, without the approval of the general Membership Assembly (AGMA).

He said it is the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that needs AGMA approval, adding that Ceneco had completed implementation of the 2015 NEA salary scale earlier this year.

The next tranches of NEA 2018 salary scale shall be implemented starting in the last quarter 2018 or until 2019, Lagarde said.

But Lapore cited that, “Earlier on, prior to your  resolution, I understand that Board member Roy Cordova had forged an agreement with Lagarde  dropping the administrative case he filed against the latter premised on the ‘contemplation’ of the general manager to retire from Ceneco.”

Lapore said NEA has approved the compromise agreement under very doubtful circumstances, taking into account that the case Cordova had filed involved issues concerning the functions of Lagarde as manager of Ceneco as such these are impressed with public interest.

He believes the compromise agreement between Cordova and Lagarde has no force and in effect is contrary to public interest.

Lapore said it is apparent that the compromise agreement was to pave the way for the retirement of Lagarde because it is obvious that the latter could not get a single centavo of his retirement benefits if the case remains pending with NEA.

Notwithstanding the approval of the compromise agreement by NEA, Lagarde did not apply for optional retirement despite having reached the age of 60 years old on Sept. 7, Lapore said.

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