Itogon asks PSALM Environmental fee breakdown

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Thursday, May 1, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Itogon Municipal Council members are asking the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (Psalm) how environmental fees are utilized.

In a resolution filed by councilor Arnel Bahingawan during their regular session, Psalm President Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. has been formally asked where the environment share as reflected in the power bill is bung utilized and allocated.

Bahingawan said the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (Epira) mandates all electric power industry participants to functionally and structurally unbundle their business activities and power rates in accordance with the provisions of the Epira.

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The Psalm is the government-owned and controlled corporation tasked to undertake the privatization of the assets of the National Power Corporation (NPC) and the National Transmission Corporation (Transco) as well as the privatization of the management of NPC's IPP (Independent Power Producer) contracts.

"The unbundling of rates was meant to enable the consumers to understand how much of their payment goes to the cost of producing power and the cost of transmitting power to the distribution system," Bahingawan said.

The unbundled electricity rate shows a longer list of items comprising the cost of electricity consumers have to pay to the service provider;
Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) has filed its unbundled rates which the ERC has approved in 2003 and is being implemented in its 2004 billing cycle.

Bahingawan said the fees are reflected in the power bill of Beneco supposedly to be used for the rehabilitation and management of watershed areas and is remitted to Psalm.

Itogon dads are asking the Psalm for clarification on where the environmental fees are being utilized after the resolution has been approved and forwarded to the provincial board.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 02, 2014.

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