Solon wants probe on impending power rate hikeBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—A lawmaker on Friday urged the House Committee on Energy through House Resolution 2418 to look into the impending series of power rate hike following adjustments filed by agencies with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Manila Representative Maria Theresa Bonoan-David, vice chairperson of the House committee on globalization and WTO (World Trade Organization), said that consumers would be the ones to bear the brunt of the adjustments filed by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), National Power Corporation (NPC), Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
She said that an investigation into the cost hikes on electricity should be conducted “to ensure a reliable and secure supply of electric power at reasonable and affordable rates.”
Meanwhile, another PSALM petition seeks to adjust NPC’s base rate under the Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM) and Incremental Currency Exchange Rate Adjustment (ICERA) at P4.72/kWh for Luzon, P4.26/kWh for Visayas and P3.17/kWh for Mindanao.
Bonoan-David pointed out that MERALCO has increased its generation charge effective on its May 2012 billing period at P0.08/kWh while the NGCP seeks a total rate increase of P0.82/kWh on a staggered basis from October 2011 up to December 2015 in Luzon to recoup the P80.2 million used for the rehabilitation, repair and restoration of transmission line facilities damaged by typhoons Basyang and Juan in 2010.
An investigation into the cost hikes on power would also play a significant role in the country’s economy as it is a “factor in the number and amount of investments that a country is able to attract. These investments help create opportunities that generate the much-needed jobs to spur economic development,” said Bonoan-David.
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