NASECORE seeks consumer intervention in Meralco case

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2014 03:15 PM | Updated as of Feb 24 2014 11:16 PM

MANILA – The National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms (NASECORE) wants to make sure consumers are heard in the petition of Meralco seeking to collect P5.33 per kilowatt hour (kwh) more from its customers to cover the spike in generation charge for January.

NASECORE President Pete Ilagan filed a petition to intervene so that consumers can join the proceedings at any point in time.

Ilagan said the group will oppose Meralco's move to seek a provisional authority to collect the generation charge for January through the following scheme: P0.84/kwh spike in March and P0.74/kwh increase from April to August.

Meralco's main petition asks for a similar amount.

The decision now rests with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on whether to approve a provisional authority in favor of Meralco.

ERC executive director Francis Juan said the commission can only act on the provisional authority request 30 days after publication, which means only after March 18.

From the filing of the petition, the commission only has 75 days to grant Meralco's petition for a provisional hike.

Juan has invited all consumers to participate in the hearings by filing petitions for interventions just like NASECORE.

This week, the Makabayan bloc will also file petitions to intervene.

According to Ilagan, once the ERC grants a provisional hike, NASECORE will go to the Supreme Court to block the spike in electricity prices.

The Supreme Court earlier extended the temporary restraining order on the P4.15/kwh spike in the generation charge for December.