THE Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative II (Noreco II) will be collecting an additional Universal Charge-Missionary Electrification (UC-ME) rate from its consumers starting in its next billing cycle to recover a shortfall of more than P4.8 billion as mandated by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Lawyer Fe Marie Tagle, Noreco II general manager, told the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, that the shortfall covers the years 2013 and 2014, and is in accordance with the Notice of Resolution from the ERC dated March 22, 2023.

“We received a copy of the said resolution last May 8 and as stipulated, the collection will commence in the next billing statement, the cycle of which begins on June 20,” Tagle said.

All distribution utilities (DUs) and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines are mandated by the ERC to collect the UC-ME to subsidize off-grid or non-viable areas as part of the government’s missionary electrification program, she said.

The ERC sets the rates for the UC-ME, which all electric cooperatives or DUs are already collecting in varying rates since several years back, she added.

Tagle said it is only the ERC which can determine the shortfall in the particular years.

For Noreco II, an additional UC-ME of PHP 0.2233/kilowatt hour will be charged from its member-consumer-owners (MCOs), for a period of 12 months or until such time that the full amount has been collected.

This will be remitted to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation on or before the 15th of every month. (PNA)