FDC raps Capitol power bill hike
By Manuel “Boy” Mejorada
administration committed a blunder in “going back to the old set
up” and puttaxpayers “in a very disadvantageous” position when it entered into a power supply agreement
with the Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC), a power industry reform advocate saidyesterday.
“It was apparent the Iloilo provincial government was already enjoying the advantage of getting
out the city grid being serviced by Panay Electric Co., and it is hard to understand why the
Capitol went right back to it,” Ted Aldwin Ong, secreta
ry-general of the Freedom from DebtCoalition (FDC), said.Ong was guest yesterday in the weekly Kapehan sa Bali cable television and radio public affairsprogram at the still-to-be-opened Bali Hotel.At the same time, Ong said PECO rates remain the highest at P10.57 per kwh among major citiesin the country notwithstanding a slight drop from the P13 per kwh average power rate.Bacolod consumers pay only P5.54 per kwh, Cebu P9.63/kwh, Davao P7.30/kwh, Gen. Santos6.85/kwh and Metro Manila, which is serviced by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), P9.89/kwh,Ong said.
“We find it hard to understand why government isn’t pushing for expanding the production
capacity of the Palinpinon geothermal power plant in Negros Oriental and insist on fossil fuel-based genera
tion plants like coal,” Ong said.
The reason Bacolod consumers pay only P5.54 is their proximity to the geothermal power plantin Palinpinon, he said.He said Panay island is close enough to the geothermal power facility to take advantage of thecheaper rates from the Green Core operated plant.
Ong also described the Iloilo Capitol’s move to draw power from PEDC as a “bad decision”.
This was apparent from the surge in the monthly power bill of the Iloilo Capitol from the time itscontract with the Green Core Geothermal Power expired last Dec. 24.In January 2012, the Iloilo Capitol paid PEDC the amount of P1,984,236.52 for its first monthunder the new contract. It was a big leap from the P1,046,248 that the Iloilo Capitol paid GreenCore for the month of December 2011 when the entire complex was ablaze with Christmaslights.
For February 2012, the Iloilo Capitol’s power bill dipped slightly to P1,797,821.10, still a huge jump from the previous December’s power bill with Green Core.
Ong said FDC had written Provincial Administrator Raul Banias for a copy of the power supplyagreement that the Iloilo Capitol had signed with PEDC early this month, but it has not receiveda response yet.