AN INCREASE in generation charge, as well as rotating brownouts, awaits consumers of power distributor Mactan Electric in March.
The generation charge pertains to the charges for the production of electricity.
Engineer Gilbert Pagobo, senior vice president and general manager of Mactan Electric Company Inc. (Meco), announced on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, that from the current P12 per kilowatt hour (kWh), the electricity rate could increase by 30 to 50 percent, though the price could still change after Meco’s board members discuss the matter further.
In a press conference at the Marina Seaview Restaurant in Lapu-Lapu City, Pagobo said Meco will increase its rates because of the anticipated increase in power demand during the summer, damage brought to a cable line supplying power to Meco, and the increase by at least 50 percent of Meco’s nodal price because the damaged cable was already considered congested.
If Meco’s electricity rate rises to P15 per kWh, or just a 25 percent increase, a consumer with electricity consumption of 200 kWh a month would pay P3,000 for the generation charge in his electricity bill from the current P2,400.
Pagobo explained this was following the damage to their main electric cable line situated at the crossroads of Ouano Ave. and UN Avenue in Mandaue City.
The area has two operating cable lines powered by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP)—one that supplies electricity to Mandaue City through the Visayan Electric Company, and the other one for Meco.
Pagobo said line 2, which supplies power to the entire Lapu-Lapu City and Municipality of Cordova, was hit amid the ongoing road projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the area.
Meco supplies electricity to the entire Lapu-Lapu City, which includes Olango Island, and the Municipality of Cordova.
Pagobo said they had already coordinated with the NGCP and the DPWH regarding the cable line’s repair, but they had not received any feedback from either.
Both NGCP and the DPWH were invited to the press conference on Tuesday so that the public may hear their side on the matter, but their representatives did not show up.
Pagobo noted that this was not the first time an accident between their cable lines was caused by the ongoing road projects of the DPWH.
The first one happened in one of their cable lines near the corner of D.M. Cortes St. and A.C. Cortes Ave. in 2015, followed by another at the intersection of UN Avenue and DM Cortes in 2019 that took about six months for the lines to be fully repaired.
Aside from the increase, Pagobo said consumers might also experience power outages of one to two hours per day, possibly at the start of the summer season until the cable is fixed.
Pagobo said they are set to announce the areas that will be affected by the rotating brownouts. He emphasized it will include big establishments such as Gaisano Mactan Island Mall, Gaisano Grand Mall Mactan, Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan, Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark, and Shangri-La Mactan.
Cordova Vice Mayor Victor “Boyet” Tago plans to pass a resolution in the Sangguniang Bayan urging NGCP, the Energy Regulatory Commission and the DPWH to provide clarity on what happened, considering the power outage would affect the entire Mactan Island.
He also would ask the agencies to come up with a permanent solution so no similar incidents happen again.
Tago added that he would ask Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s assistance to hold those accountable for what happened.
Pagobo said they had already relayed the matter to Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan. He said Chan would convince big establishments to share the power from their generators to the nearby residential areas.
“We also advise consumers to save as much electricity as they can,” said Pagobo.