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Meralco says will comply with ERC refund order by March

by Kiko Cueto

THE Manila Electric Company said that they will comply with the order of the Energy Regulatory Commission that mandates them to refund part of the heft rate adjustment this February.

In a statement, Meralco said that they will make it effective in March.

The power distributor hiked the rates by P0.57/kwh this month, with majority of the computation coming from the increase in fuel cost, specifically natural gas.

Meralco had sought guidance from the ERC on the increase in the price of natural gas from one of its biggest suppliers, First Gen.

However, ERC Chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta noted that Meralco should not have passed on to all consumers the considerable increase yet, due to higher natural gas prices from the Malampaya consortium if it has not yet validated if the hike is justified.

In their letter to the ERC, Meralco said that they do not have a copy of the new gas supply and purchase agreement between the Malampaya Consortium and First Gen.

Dimalanta said that it was premature for Meralco to pass on the fuel costs to consumers if it has not yet validated the amount.

The power distributor said they will comply with the suggestion of Dimalanta to refund consumers. However, they still needs to compute how much of the P0.57/kwh will have to be refunded.

Meralco Spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said the company will implement the refund next billing cycle in compliance with Dimalanta’s letter.



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