Meralco told to exclude 'deferred increase' in March bill

By Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2014 06:24 PM | Updated as of Mar 18 2014 05:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said the Department of Energy (DOE) will again remind Meralco about the reported inclusion of the "deferred increase" halted by the SC in the March bill of Meralco.

According to Petilla, he already advised Meralco in the past not to include it since it can cause confusion among consumers.

As the summer season approaches, Petilla is reminding Meralco and other cooperatives to already book contracts for their power needs rather than rely on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) to avoid a repeat of the November and December 2013 spikes.

He said Mindanao will surely experience deficient power supply for the entire summer with brownouts ranging from 5 to 6 hours.

With the STEAG power plant still down until May, the deficiency can run up to 300 megawatts.

Visayas, on the other hand, is expected to have an excess of 50 to 100 megawatts during summer which can be "exported" to Luzon to plug the tight supply this hot season.

Re-computed prices

Petilla said the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) will inform the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) once it determines the final figure on the re-computation of electricity prices at the spot market from November to December during the Malampaya shutdown.

According to Petilla, who is also PEMC chairman, the PEMC will be able to comply with the 7-day period that the ERC has given them in their order.

The 7-day period ends on Thursday, March 20.

The figure is expected to slash the controversial spikes in the December and January generation charges of Meralco that now totals P9.48 per kilowatt hour, P4.15 of which is the subject of a temporary restraining order by the Supreme Court (SC) while the spike of P5.33 is pending with the ERC.


Meanwhile, the energy secretary said if the President does need his service anymore, he will not cling to the job, following criticism from Senator Serge Osmena that the DOE and the ERC are run by incompetent individuals and that President Aquino and Petilla are "awful managers."

According to Petilla, he is focused on his job and his frequent trips to Leyte after typhoon “Yolanda” hit is due to the fact that he is from Leyte, and even his house and his mother's house were badly damaged by the typhoon.

"It's part of the job, criticisms and praises. I'll just to move on," he said.