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ERC urged to resolve cases vs power firm

December 12, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 347 views

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) urged to act now on cases that may immediately reduce power rates.

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate made the call following the ninth straight power rate hike.

“Kung mabilis na maipapasa ng House at Senado at hindi i-veto ng Malacañang ay masususpinde na ang excise tax sa mga produktong petrolyo. Makakatulong ito sa mamamayan, pero hindi sapat. Kaya dapat ay gumawa na din ng paraan ang ERC para kagyat na maibaba ang singil sa kuryente,” Rep. Zarate said

Earlier, the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) announced an increase in power rates for a typical household by 31 centavos to P9.7773 per kilowatt hour.

Meralco said higher generation charges pushed rates up. This was equivalent to an increase of about P63 in the total bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kWh.

“One of the sure fire ways to reduce electricity now is for ERC to expedite its decisions on the numerous over recovery cases filed against Meralco,” Zarate said.

Last March the ERC enumerated some complaints which remain unresolved such as over recovery of P29 billion charges from 2013 to 2018; request the Commission to require MERALCO to charge billing at industrial rate the industrial power that was not used during the pandemic by the closed factories that were instead, consumed by the locked down residential customers from April 2020 to May 2020 and to be billed at the residential rate of P2.98 per kwh; asking for a COA audit of MERALCO for the multi-billion disparity in its sales and purchases of power in its audited financial statements and annual reports to stockholders compared with their generation purchase reported to the ERC.

Also, the xcessive and unjustifiable prices being paid by MERALCO to Quezon Power Ltd., its partner in Mauban for the first Nine (9) months of 2020. Allegedly, MERALCO’s P4.05 billion billing has been passed on to the consumers; the alleged discovery of Meralco billings big disparity in the kWh energy sales of MERALCO reported to the Commission as contained in Meralco’s Annual Report show from 2019 way back 2015.

“After nine months, what are the findings on these cases?

“Mapapababa na sana nito ang singil sa kuryente lalo pa at napakataas na naman ng itinaas nito ngayon at ayaw namang iwaive ng Meralco ang dagdag singil kahit pa kumita ito ng P6.66 bilyon sa third quarter ng 2021,” Zarate added.