Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas and the consumer groups said that the slight increase in the electricity rate of More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power) this month is reasonable as it resulted in better services.
The Energy Regulatory Commission approved the application of MORE Power for an additional distribution charge of 47 centavos per kWh to recover their P1 billion emergency Capital Expenditures (CapEx). This emergency CapEx was spent to rehabilitate the facilities they inherited from the previous distribution utility.
“We all feel the improved services of MORE Power,” said Treñas.
The incessant increase of fuel and coal in the world market has also affected the prices of electricity in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) which is also the source of MORE Power. Even so, the Enrique Razon-led company remains to have the lowest power rate in the country with its current average cost of around P8 per kilowatt-hour.
Amid the price hike of other utility services and commodities, Treñas is hoping that the city’s sole power distributor will continue to source power from generators offering lower supply rates.
“Everything seems to be going up these days. I hope MORE continues to source power from generators with low costs,” he said.
Consumer group Koalisyon Bantay Kuryente find the increase quite reasonable given the efficiency and improvement of MORE Power in delivering its services.
“With continued improvements on the services of MORE Power, the frequencies of brownouts were significantly reduced. Hence, the 47 centavos increase from its current rate is quite reasonable,” said Mr. Halley Alcarde, President of Koalisyon Bantay Kuryente at the same time General Manager of Western Visayas Transport Cooperative.
Another consumer group Grupo Consumidor shared the same sentiment, citing the utility’s already delivered and further improvements in its services.
“Considering the need to improve existing facilities in the light of the current global crisis, we at Grupo Konsumidor are of the view that a rate increase of 47 centavos per kWh by More Power is deemed reasonable under the circumstances,” said Atty. Eldrid Antiquiera, president of Grupo Konsumidor.
Reliable partner of the city
Treñas has repeatedly acknowledge the contribution of the power sector, particularly MORE Power, to the progress and development of the city.
He said that the lower rates coupled with the efficient services of the power utility is one of the things that helped Iloilo City attract investors, such as Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) and real estate companies.
Treñas also described MORE Power as not just an electric company but a reliable partner of the City Government for the development of the highly-urbanized city.