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Monday, October 27, 2014

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 21, (PIA) –The National Grid Corporation (NGCP) said power distribution service (PDS) in the country has considerably gone down, from P315.4675 per kilowatt hour per month (Kwh/d) in October 2013 to P297.3155 for firms in April this year. 

This is even lesser for non-firms when it had P10.3715 kilowatt hour per day (Kwh/d) in October to P9.7748 kwpd in April of 2014. 

The cheaper power distribution rate decreased for residential and non-commercial establishments at an average of P10.0498 kwhd in the last 7 months.

And it could still go down, hints Atty. Cynthia Alabanza, as she credits this to the effect of the Energy Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), among other reforms bundled in and the NGCP’s. 

Alabanza, Spokesperson and Head of the NGCP’s Corporate Communications Affairs relayed the message to members of the Bohol media present at the Power 101 Briefing held at the Bellevue Hotel in Panglao, October 2014.
It may be recalled the country’s restructuring of the power sector brought the government to pass the EPIRA Law, which ensured quality, reliable, secure and affordable supply of electric power in the country. 

Among the EPIRA reforms are the privatization of assets of the National Power Corporation through the operationalization of the National Transmission Corporation (Transco), the establishment of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM), the eventual privatization of the Transco and the Department of Energy’s Establishment of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). 

In 2001, the EPIRA took its effect and as early as then, people demanded that the law would bring in the promised lower power cost amidst allegations that lowered power rates are among the largely false government promises. 

The NGCP put up, long-term value creation as a more sustainable measure to bring the prices down, even if it were against popular opinion of giving lower tariff rates to power which could trigger subsidies or the unavoidable tax burdens it could bring, an NGCP insider revealed.

The country’s transmission service provider NGCP for one, wants to give that aspiration a head start: its keen desire will be to bring down power rates for Filipino consumers, according to NGCP President and Chief Executive Officer Henry T. Sy Jr.

But he also said before reaching “cheaper rates regime’, massive investments have to be made to expand and upgrade the transmission system and its integrated facilities so their operating efficiencies will eventually improve.

“(NGCP’s) average rates and charges are deliberately designed to decrease as demand for its services increase, thereby, encouraging efficiency,” Mr. Sy stressed, in his quoted statement as reported in a major paper. 

And true enough, NGCP showed that in the Visayas Grid alone, power distribution service per hour on a day, in October of 2013 to April 2014, it had P10.3715, 10.3691, 10,3486, 9.8212, 9.8310, 9.8324, to 9.7748 Kwh/d. 

Visayas grid PDS for non-firms now in fact has lower rate compared to Luzon, which had 9.9393 while Mindanao Grid still is saddled with a P10.1817 kwh/d in April 2014. (RAC/PIABohol)

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