VECO announces 2 possible rate hikes
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/ATO (The Freeman) - January 15, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Consumers of the Visayan Electric Co. might face two power rate increases this year.

This was disclosed by VECO chief of operating officer Sebastian Lacson during the public hearing called by the Cebu City Council yesterday to apprise the body on the proposed power rate hike this year.

Lacson said that the Energy Regulatory Commission has already approved VECO’s petition to recover its investment in the underground cabling project which was considered as a capital expenditure.

VECO implemented a P78-million worth of underground cabling project from the Cebu Provincial Capitol to Fuente Osmeña Circle.

Lacson said that ERC has recently approved its petition to pass on the cost of the project to the consumers as it is a service improvement that benefits the public.

Any time in the coming months, he said that VECO will be implementing the P0.001 power rate increase per kilowatt hour.

For an average consumer with 200 kilowatt-hour a month, it means an additional 20 centavos on the bill.

“It is very minimal because the reason why it is minimal is that we sell a lot of kilowatt hours every year and these capital expenditures were amortized by in a period of time,” he said.

On the second proposed power rate increase, Lacson said that VECO’s petition is still pending the ERC’s approval.

The granting by the ERC of VECO’s petition would mean an additional P0.60 increase per kilowatt-hour.

Lacson said that for an average consumer who will consume 200 kilowatt-hour a month, P12 will be added in his bill.

“This is because, VECO lost 30 percent supply from expired contract last December 25,” he said, adding that VECO needs to look for other power suppliers to cope with the lost.

He said that ERC will hold its first public hearing today on VECO’s petition for another power hike.

City Councilor Alvin Dizon invited VECO and consumer groups to a public hearing yesterday to discuss the power rate increase.

“Any increase is an added burden to the consumers,” he said.

During yesterday’s hearing, consumer groups such as Consumer’s Right for Economic Welfare and Freedom from Debt Coalition  and multi-sectoral group Sanlakas expressed its opposition to the approved power rate increase. — (FREEMAN)

CEBU CITY COUNCIL CEBU PROVINCIAL CAPITOL CITY COUNCILOR ALVIN DIZON CONSUMERS OF THE VISAYAN ELECTRIC CO DEBT COALITION ECONOMIC WELFARE AND FREEDOM ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION LACSON POWER VECO
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