City Hall asked to pay P8.6M in unpaid electricity usage, surcharges-A A +A
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
CEBU City Hall has P8.6 million in unpaid electricity bills.
Visayan Electric Company (Veco) billing and collection department manager Sandro Aboitiz wrote City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete to ask City Hall to pay the sum as soon as possible.
“Please be advised that out credit policy only allows an account up to two months of outstanding bills, with the second bill already indicating a notice of disconnection, making the account due for electricity service disconnection should there be no settlement or payment made within 48-hours from its receipt,” said Aboitiz.
According to Veco records, the amount represents several years of unpaid electricity consumption and surcharges of City Hall offices, markets, hospital, abattoir, street and traffic lights and public schools.
Poblete told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday that the payment to Veco is included in the P276-million proposed second supplemental budget (SB2).
In the SB2, Poblete said, the executive branch at City Hall allotted P70 million for electricity bills.
Aboitiz said Veco has been “patient and reasonable” with City Hall.
Poblete said the amount could still decrease because City Hall asked Veco to waive the two-percent surcharge on the electricity bills.
Out of the City’s P8,649,079.69 total payables to Veco, P2,962,551.12 account for surcharges for delayed payments.
Poblete said there are many reasons for the delayed payments, among them is lack of funding.
Aside from this, Poblete said, the Commission on Audit does not allow local government units to pay surcharges, which are the liability of the person responsible for the delay.
“At present, we have an ongoing negotiation with Veco to waive the penalty. Their response is okay but nothing is final yet,” he said.
Poblete said the City will pay Veco once the SB2 is approved by the City Council.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 23, 2012.