Visayan Electric in talks with power suppliers

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - April 12, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Visayan Electric announced its ongoing renegotiations with power suppliers to respond to other sectors’ call in a bid to lower power rates in its franchise area.

“In answer to the call of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Visayan Electric Co., Inc. is set to renegotiate some of its power contracts in efforts to lower power rates in its franchise area,” said Visayan Electric in a statement released yesterday.

The Aboitiz-Garcia power utility firm’s statement followed after series of calls made earlier by Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and consumer group called People’s Oversight Watchdog for Energy Reforms (POWER).

“We understand the difficulties that our customers are facing now that we are in a pandemic and the Visayan Electric management has decided that this is one way of helping our customers, both the public and business sectors,” said Visayan Electric president and Chief Operating Officer Engr. Raul C. Lucero

According to Lucero the electric utility has considered renegotiating its contracts with some of its power suppliers and is in fact already preparing to hold a Competitive Selection Process (CSP) for power supply agreements.

Visayan Electric has invited the Mandaue Chamber to participate in the CSP as the Third Party member of the Bids and Awards Committee to ensure transparency in the contracting process.

“This is part of our effort to make our process transparent. We are always willing to work with our stakeholders in unpacking their concerns and finding a reasonable solution," Lucero said.

In a statement published earlier, MCCI Steven Yu asked Visayan Electric to help the public, as well as the business community in the recovery efforts from the effects of the pandemic by renegotiating its contracts with power suppliers in the hopes of lowering electricity rates.

Similarly, consumer group POWER has joined the business sector’s call for Visayan Electric to review contracts with power producers.

In a statement, POWER convenor Jaydar Medrozo, said the group believes that these recommendations are sound and fair and gives Visayan Electric an opportunity to show if it indeed listens to its consumers.

“Reducing the cost of power will be a great help to Cebuano households and businesses who are suffering from the burden of the pandemic,” said Medrozo.

Lucero said the conduct of the CSP, which will start as soon as all documentary requirements are ready, signifies the commitment of Visayan Electric to its customers to provide reasonably-priced electricity.

Visayan Electric, the second largest electric utility in the country, is owned and managed by publicly-listed Aboitiz Power Corporation and Vivant Corporation. It serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu -- Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando.

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