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Good news for consumers

August 6, 2023 Mario Fetalino Jr. 295 views

Mario FetalinoThis corner welcomes two reports early this week –cheaper power rates in August and stable prices of goods despite the typhoons.

After paying horrendous Meralco bills last summer, customers in the franchise areas of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) may expect cheaper power rates in August.

Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said “while we have yet to receive the final billings from our suppliers, we expect a possible decrease in the generation charge this month.

Zaldarriaga said prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) may decline this month amid the reduction in demand.

Earlier, WESM said lower spot market prices are expected during the rainy season as power usage drops during these months because of cooler temperature.

In July, spot market prices started to decline to PHP6.07 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from PHP6.67 per kWh in June.

WESM accounted for 15 percent of Meralco’s power supply last month.

“The quarterly repricing of Malampaya (gas field) will also reflect the lower crude prices over the past six months,” Zaldarriaga added.

Zaldarriaga also cited the stronger local currency will help in the reduction of generation charge, as most of the costs of power suppliers are dollar denominated.

“We are optimistic that these factors would be enough to bring down the overall electricity rate for this month,” he said.

Another reason for consumers to be happy is that supplies and prices of basic goods remained stable despite the onslaught of the recent typhoons and heavy rains affecting parts of the country, especially in Luzon.

Pascual said DTI regional and provincial offices are regularly monitoring supplies and prices of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs).

“Currently, the supply of BNPCs is stable,” he said. “We call on Filipino consumers to avoid panic buying as we assure that the prices and supplies of BNPCs remain stable as of date.”

Pascual said the DTI will continue the close monitoring of prices and supplies of basic goods and prime commodities especially in areas declared under state of calamity.

“Our provincial offices in Pampanga and Bulacan are finalizing the list of price freeze for basic necessities as of date. The province of Bataan, on the other hand, has issued a prevailing list of price freeze as of July 6, 2023 due to the outbreak of African swine (fever). This is also still in effect. Further, the municipalities of Paniqui and Camiling (in) Tarlac and Zaragosa in Nueva Ecija already issued a list of price freeze and informed business establishments regarding it,” he added.

The DTI chief also urged consumers to report to the agency the establishments that are overpricing, hoarding and doing other unfair and unjust sales practices.

Consumers can report their complaints to DTI hotline 1-384 or via [email protected].

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