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Cebu business group wants answers on power rates issue



Why does Cebu have the highest cost of power in the country?

This was the question the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) kept asking regarding the alleged high power rates that Visayan Electric Company (Veco) has been imposing on its customers.

The matter was raised by Virgilio Espeleta, chair of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC), during the RDC’s fourth quarter meeting on 3 December.

The CCCI cited a 27 January news report quoting Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) commissioner-in-charge Floresinda Baldo-Digal that evaluation of the power rates will be finished by February.

“If, indeed, the ERC has completed its evaluation, the CCCI has not received a copy,” said CCCI.

Earlier the ERC had ordered Veco to submit an explanation over its alleged high power rates.

The CCCI said it wanted answers to the following: “What happens to all charges that Veco imposed on its consumers since 2013, i.e. will these result to refunds? What actions will ERC take on violators of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) Law that has gone on for several years now, i.e., will these result to cancellation or cessation of power supply agreements? And finally, will this impact the high cost of power in Cebu?”