Bacolod elec­tric rates go up

Manila Bulletin - - Visayas News - By MARK L. GAR­CIA

BACOLOD CITY – The En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (ERC) has au­tho­rized the Cen­tral Ne­gros Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive (Ceneco) to start col­lect­ing from its cus­tomers the R232 mil­lion in “un­nom­i­nated con­tract quan­ti­ties” by Oc­to­ber 25, Ceneco Gen­eral Man­ager Sulpi­cio La­garde Jr. said.

ERC ear­lier de­nied the mo­tion to dis­miss filed by So­cial Ac­tion Cen­ter (SAC) and gave ap­pli­cants KEPCO SPC Power Cor­po­ra­tion (KSPC) and Ceneco the go-ahead to col­lect a to­tal of R232,010,090.

This means an ad­di­tional monthly rate of R0.0817 per kilo­watt-hour for 50 months or un­til the full amount has been re­cov­ered. The in­crease will be re­flected in the cus­tomers’ Oc­to­ber 16 billing, La­garde said.

If ERC stops Ceneco from im­ple­ment­ing the rate hike or or­der it to re­fund what­ever amount it has al­ready col­lected, it will com­ply, he said in a press con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day.

He said if the co­op­er­a­tive has a choice it will not raise its rates be­cause a high elec­tric­ity rate could lead to a lower col­lec­tion ef­fi­ciency and an in­crease in power pil­fer­ages.

The SAC, rep­re­sented by Fr. Chris Gon­za­les, filed a mo­tion be­fore the ERC to pre­vent Ceneco from charg­ing its cus­tomers the R232 mil­lion for “un­nom­i­nated con­tract quan­ti­ties” start­ing Oc­to­ber 25.

SAC, rep­re­sented by its le­gal coun­sel Vi­cente Petierre III, asked ERC to re­con­sider its de­ci­sion dated June 27 ap­prov­ing the rate hike, and for a new de­ci­sion dis­miss­ing the case.

Petierre said Ceneco is not au­tho­rized to sign the pe­ti­tion for the in­crease and failed to com­ply with the rule on cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of non-fo­rum shop­ping.

He also said the con­tract for the un­nom­i­nated quan­tity, or the power sold by KSPC to Ceneco is grossly dis­ad­van­ta­geous and should not be charged to the con­sumers.

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