ERC Oks petition for increased universal charge for missionary electrification

Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 25 2023 04:51 PM

MANILA — The Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday said it is formalizing the approval of the petition of the National Power Corp (Napocor) to increase the universal charge for missionary electrification (UC-ME).

ERC Chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta has confirmed the approval but said the actual order is still being circulated for the signature of other ERC Commissioners.

The approval covers the petition of Napocor dating back to 2013 and 2014. According to sources, the approved rate is just a fraction of the petitioned P0.15/kwh for 2013-2014.

Napocor Spokesperson Odette Rivero said she welcomed the decision saying it can help cover its budget deficiency and delay in sustaining the fuel expenses in areas not connected to the main grid.

While the decision is good news for those living off-grid, it also means higher rates for customers connected to the grid nationwide.

Napocor meanwhile said its problem with Occidental Mindoro is just the delay in payment to the supplier of the cooperative. Occidental Mindoro is grappling with a power crisis. 

Rivero reiterated that the agency pays OMCPC, the supplier of the coop in Occidental Mindoro but only for rates approved by ERC. She added Napocor cannot go beyond what the ERC prescribed in its decision and not what the power supplier is demanding.


The group of cooperatives isolated from the main grid has expressed concern that what happened to Occidental Mindoro might also happen to them soon.

The group's president Rene Fajinagutan appeals to the government to approve the petitions of the Napocor to increase the subsidy of isolated areas.

More than 3 million consumers live in areas isolated from the main grid relying on Napocor to subsidize its fuel needs to run power plants that bring electricity.

Meanwhile, the Developers of Renewable Energy for Advancement (DREAM) said renewable energy sources can help solve the problem in Occidental Mindoro.

Atty Jay Layug, the group's president says Occidental Mindoro needs a combination of renewable and baseload capacity to bring full-day power to the province.

Layug said the coop needs forward planning and the way to go is to use renewable during the daytime and diesel run at night.

Residents however will need to pay higher bills if they want 24-hour power supply.

Tetchie Capellan, the Chairperson of the Philippine Solar Energy Alliance agrees with Layug that the answer to the problem of Occidental Mindoro is not renewable energy alone.

 While the province has the potential for solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydro power, it needs baseload power to sustain its daily need.

Capellan advised the coop to have a 10 to 15-year plan to wean off from fossil fuels and perhaps have a 50-percent renewable energy source in a decade's time.


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