Mayor: Ceneco rates going down but he wants WESM probed, too 

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez  at a press conference Monday*  

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said Central Negros Electric Cooperative’s power rates will go down next month but he has asked some congressmen to look into who monitors the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market’s exorbitant prices. 

Benitez said he is calling on the congressmen to investigate and take a look at the WESM provisions since the Electric Power Industry Reform Act is being reviewed. 

A public hearing should be conducted, government can step in and put price controls in times of calamities such as droughts, he said. 

ERC should also control the supply of power so that it never goes below the demand, he said, because when there is a shortage of power it drives up prices. 

Benitez  said he has asked the energy secretary to look into having a buffer supply of power. 

Certain controls  and regulations should be put in place,  Benitez said.         

Benitez pointed out that  power rates of CENECO  are expected to go down with the  Energy Regulatory Commission’s  issuance of an interim approval for  the implementation of the  Power Supply Agreement (PSA) between the cooperative and  the Energy Development Corporation. 

This will allow CENECO to avail of  20 megawatts of power from EDC at P5.56 per kilowatt hour without Value Added Tax (VAT),  instead of from WESM that has been charging exorbitant rates, said  Benitez, who had asked the  ERC to act on the PSA. 

He also cited the secondary price cap granted by ERC.  

Power rates are expected to go down by P1.80 per kilowatt hour  in June, and P3 to P4 in July.* 

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