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Mindanao's 33 electric coops decry 66% transmission rate increase

The 33 electric cooperatives in various areas in Mindanao decried over the weekend the 66 percent transmission rate increase on ancillary service charge and regulated transmission services, saying "it is very shocking on their part".

The Mindanao's major electric cooperatives such as Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative, South Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Zamboanga Electric Cooperative, Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative and Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative, are set to file their petitions with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to intercede, hoping to lessen the impact of transmission rate increase imposed by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Among the five major Mindanao's electric cooperatives, the Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative (Aneco) will file its petition on Monday with ERC chair Zenaida G. Cruz- Ducut.

In the 66 percent rate increase, the NGCP is set to collect an estimated close to P700 million from the 33 electric cooperatives in Mindanao, it was learned.

"The NGCP has abruptly billed us the amount of P49,630,809.28 covering the billing period from March 26 to April 25, this year, and it is very shocking on our part," said Aneco General Manager Horacio T. Santos.

He added: "The price becomes P977.12 per kilowatt hour which is 66 percent more than the preceding billing period".

He said that all electric cooperatives in Mindanao also suffered the same 66 percent transmission rate increase.

The electric cooperatives in the island are requesting the ERC to intervene with the NGCP to "spread out their billing on ancillary services charge into six months or one year time in order for them to lessen the impact of transmission rate increase".

"We are only asking to give us ample time to pay the additional charges imposed by the NGCP," also said Engr. Namocatcat.

However, it was also learned that some electric cooperatives pose to file in the lower court on the alleged abrupt imposition of transmission cost increase by the NGCP.

In a related development, the business sector, particularly the Federation Chamber of Commerce in Mindanao is waiting for the immediate move of the incoming administration under President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III on power issues that concern Mindanao up to now.

The Mindanao Business Council (MBC) and Mindanao Electric Power Alliance (MEPA) chair Vicente Lao bared the sector's wait and see status on how Aquino's administration will resolve Mindanao's power crisis.

The Mindanao power outages is back on Friday where the state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor) and NGCP imposed a 2 up to 4 hour rotating brownouts in all electric cooperatives and other power users in the island.

The companies who are dependent on Mindanao grid will again rotate their working schedule where daily or hourly wage workers will be affected due to rotating power brownout. (PIA)

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