Capiz coop boasts lowest power rate in Panay Island
by A. Lumaque
Roxas City (4 February) -- The Capiz Electric Cooperative (CAPELCO) has the lowest rate of P6.06 for every kilowatt-hour compared with other power utilities based on residential rates of capital towns and cities in Panay Island as of December 2007.
This was revealed by CAPELCO General Manager Edgar Diaz in a recently conducted public hearing called by the Capiz Sangguniang Panlalawigan to know the cooperative's explanations on its recent application for rate adjustment before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
"CAPELCO's unbundled power rate does not reflect its true cost of service," said Diaz in his powerpoint presentation.
The cooperative's application for rate adjustment is in line with the government's thrust for electric cooperatives to provide reliable and quality electric service to the community.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's anti-poverty and rural development program will soon receive a big boost from the energy sector as government and its partners in rural electrification are set to invest nearly P4 billion over the next two years to ensure full electrification for the Filipino countryside before 2010.
National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Domingo F. Panganiban said that the lack of access to electricity in some of the country's poorest rural communities leads to limited job opportunities and low productivity among residents, which in turn serve to perpetuate poverty.
"That is why both President Arroyo and Secretary Angelo Reyes of the Department of Energy (DOE) are pressing for nationwide electrification before the decade ends," Panganiban said.
Panganiban said the government, through the Expanded Rural Electrification Program of the DOE, has prepared a massive work and investment program designed to bring electricity to the remaining 1,894 rural barangays throughout the nation that have no access to basic electrification services.
President Arroyo announced last August that the government aims to achieve 100% barangay electrification by 2009. (PIA) [top]