By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
President Benigno S. Aquino III continuously monitors the energy sector, particularly the impending electricity rate increase this month, putting public interest first, a Malacañang official said on Saturday.
“That is something that is continually discussed. The President does make it a point to see pero hindi sa hindi pinapansin… it is just that the ERC [Energy Regulatory Commission] is the one that determines the rate hikes and not the DOE [Department of Energy],” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
“And the Energy Regulatory Commission, of course, as we know, is not under the DOE. Pero binabantayan din natin ‘yan,” she added.
Valte was responding to calls on the President saying he should give some attention to the high cost of power in the country.
The Palace hopes that in considering the pending application for power increase, the ERC will be vigilant and make any adjustment reasonable, Valte said.
The Manila Electric Co. or Meralco, the country’s biggest power distributor, will be increasing its power rates this month as the generation charge component rose by 32 centavos per kilowatt-hour to P6.4549 per kWh.
Meralco said the increase in the generation charge this month was due to the spike in the cost of power sourced from the wholesale electricity spot market.