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PIA Press Release

Negros Oriental gov bats for lower power rate under special economic zone

by Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (28 September) -- In the heels of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's declaration of special economic zone areas of which Negros Oriental has been included, Governor Emilio C. Macias II is batting for a separate power rate for Negros Oriental.

Gov. Macias, who welcomed the province's inclusion in the country's special economic zones, is pushing for a separate preferential rate for Negros Oriental power consumers, according to Capitol Information Officer Adrian Sedillo.

Negros Oriental is currently covered by the One Grid, One Rate policy under an interconnected island grid in Visayas. Power rates for provinces sharing a unified grid were adjusted to uniform levels.

But as a geothermal host, the governor believes that Negros Oriental should have its own power-rating scheme. "There is a disparity in the uniform power rate because the other provinces in the Visayas Grid, like Cebu and Negros Occidental, have more power consumers than Negros Oriental. In short, we are sharing the same portions of the pie but gamay ra sila ug mabayran because daghan man silang magbahin. Kita dire, gamay ra ang power consumers so mas dako ta ug mabayran kay gamay ra tang magbahin," explained Sedillo.

He added that power consumers are not just paying for the electric consumption to NPC but also for the facilities used in power distribution like power lines, etc.

Negros Oriental used to have its own power rate until the province was included in the unified grid and the One Grid, One Rate policy.

Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently signed an executive order declaring certain geothermal sites in the country as special economic zones to attract power-intensive industries to relocate into provinces covered by the said zone wherein industries will enjoy a special power rate.

The President has been an advocate of the development of clean alternative energy sources like geothermal power so as to lessen and eventually eliminate the country's dependence on imported crude oil for power as well as contribute to the lessening of gas emission that contributes to climate change.

This is so because the Philippines is the second largest producer of geothermal energy in the world next to the United States. (PIA) [top]

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