Meralco wants new rate hike; regulators okay price ceilings

FRESH POWER rate hikes may be in the offing as Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) — which this month implemented a generation rate adjustment — now wants to recover P2.87 billion in franchise taxes paid to local governments.

Consumers, however, can also take heart as regulators yesterday said they had approved maximum average prices lower than what the distribution utility wanted to implement over the next four years.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said it would consider the franchise tax recovery petition and would also await Meralco’s “rate translation” of the approved 2012-2015 price caps.

The utility said it wanted to recover franchise taxes paid from 1993-2004 to the provinces of Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, and the cities of San Jose del Monte, Batangas, San Pablo, Tagayatay, Lucena, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Quezon, Caloocan, Pasay, Las Piñas, Manila and Pasig.

The rate adjustments — to be charged over a 12- to 36-month period — will vary by area and the ERC said it had scheduled a June 22 public hearing on the issue.

“These increases will only be in each area specified if approved,” ERC Executive Director Francis Saturnino C. Juan said in a telephone interview.

Read more at Business World


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