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Thursday, January 24, 2019
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Power rates seen to go up in 2019

THE Central Negros Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ceneco) is expected to hike its power rates following the impending implementation of the increase in excise taxes on petroleum products this year.

Roel Venus, Ceneco member-consumers integrated services division chief, advised the consumers to brace for the power rate increase if the additional excise tax on fuels will be implemented this month.

However, the power utility firm could not determine yet the rate of the increase pending the computation of its Corporate Planning Department, which will be subject to the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission, Venus said.

“Because they are inter-related. If the fuel prices will increase, definitely, we will also increase our rates,” he stressed.

For his part, Sulpicio Lagarde Jr., Ceneco general manager, revealed that in October to November billing, Ceneco has implemented a .69 centavo rate reduction.

“We were the first electric cooperative to implement and announce such rate reduction because we have a special case,” he said.

He explained that Ceneco has no rotating brownouts.

He pointed out the recent power interruptions was due to some problems on the lines of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

Lagarde also said that despite the stable power supply of Ceneco where 70 percent of their power derives from coal, Negros still really needs additional capacity from whatever source. “We need power for our consumers,” he pointed out.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte has reversed his decision to suspend the second round of increase in excise taxes of fuels scheduled on January 1, 2019 following the downtrend in the prices of crude oil in the world market.

Under the Train Act, the excise tax on LPG will rise to P2, diesel to P4.50, gasoline to P9, and kerosene to P4 in 2019.

Under the Train Law, the suspension of the second tranche of increases in fuel excise tax is allowed when Dubai crude oil prices exceed the $80 per barrel threshold in the last three months of 2018, or prior to the scheduled increase.(SunStar Philippines)


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