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PIA Press Release
2006/11/29

BILECO GM explains high electric cost in Biliran

By Lanie Pitao-Tupaz

Naval, Biliran (29 November) -- Biliran Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BILECO) General Manager, Marlon Roa, recently explained during the Kapihan sa PIA over DYRN, the lone radio station in the province of Biliran, the reasons of high cost of electricity in Biliran.

GM Roa cited primarily the generation rate charged by the National Power Coporation (NPC). This is the reflected actual amount of electricity consumed by the entire cooperative which all member-consumers share.

Another cause is the transmission rate collected by the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo). This refers to the electric lines that bring the electricity to the province in which systems loss also contributes to our additional burden.

Within the area of coverage of the cooperative, BILECO now collects its own distribution, supply and metering rate.

Aside from these charges, electric consumers in the province of Biliran also subsidize the so called lifeline customers or member-consumers whose electric consumption ranges from 17 kwh and below.

Roa added that the government is also collecting from each member-consumer value added (VAT) and universal charges.

Sammy Trinidad, designated information officer of BILECO added that although BILECO actually depends on residential consumers for they represent 93.29% of the consumers, this group pays lower rate per kwh that commercial and public utilities which only represent 4.96% and 1.74% respectively, of the total electric member-consumers in the entire province.

Moreover, what is more burdensome for each member-consumer is the payment of the systems loss wherein the consumption is caused by plants and trees along the electric service lines and by pilferage.

GM Roa who only assumes his post for over a year, said that he is trying to lower the systems loss so that the cooperative can save for a more efficient electric service in the province.

According to Roa, BILECO is only allowed to collect from member-consumers 14% of the systems loss and the remaining is shouldered by the cooperative.

In the previous years, the systems loss was 18%. During his term, he was able to reduce it to 16% and he is now trying to find ways to stop pilferage though no one was ever charged of pilferage yet in the province, many have been found out and have entered into a compromise with corresponding penalties.

The 4% and 2% systems loss shouldered by BILECO should have been used to purchase more facilties for a more efficient operation of the cooperative, he added. (PIA Biliran) [top]

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