ANECO, DTI conduct public forum on power rate hike
By Michael A. Imbo
Butuan City (9 June) -- The Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ANECO) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) conducted public forum held recently in one of the local convention centers here.
ANECO General Manager Horacio Santos said the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) imposed rate increase, which is the reason of power increase imposed by the cooperative starting April.
Arch. Santos explained that since ANECO and other power cooperatives in Mindanao were already billed higher that what is expected, a total of 33 power cooperatives had to start collecting from millions of power consumers in Mindanao the new power rate increase starting April 2010 billing period.
The power cooperative is the only source of electricity for 86 rural and urban barangays of Butuan City as well as the 10 municipalities and one component city of Agusan del Norte.
This actually puts ANECO?s over-all per kilowatt hour charges to consumers at some percent increase as stated on the table of estimated kilowatt consumption.
Also, Engr. Noli Namocatcat, Corporate Plan (CORPLAN) Manager said the 25 other power cooperatives in Mindanao are waiting for the decision of the Energy Regulations Commission (ERC) for its petition on the NPC and NGCP?s imposition of increase power rate charges.
"There is really a need for NGCP and NAPOCOR to explain all these sudden imposition to us in order to appease possible public outrage considering that power coops are in the forefront and subject to public outrage once collection on higher rates start," Namocatcat said.
Meanwhile, some ordinary household consumers present revealed that they are surprise to their power rates compared to the regular rate consumption they paid previously.
They appeal that rotating brownouts had already affected their businesses and some offices that includes high power rates and the power crisis.
Participating the forum are representatives of the business sector, employees from different line agencies, Barangay officials, stakeholders and consumers from different provinces. (PIA-Caraga) [top]