By LITO RULONA,
City Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya suggested replacing Cagayan de Oro Electric Power and Light Company (Cepalco) in some areas in the city after they failed to justify the reported increase of power rate before the city council on Monday.
Nacaya said he was dismayed over the response made by Cepalco who claimed that no price increase was made.
However, Nacaya claimed that there was a 50 centavo increase without the public knowing about it.
“The increase that they had imposed has affected the budget of every people. Payables has become variables to a huge company, but for those people who are earning fixed income, they can already compute how much they will budget for food, education, clothing, transportation, water and power billing. If the increase would raise in double figure, all the budgeting and distribution of hard earned money by the people would be disturbed,” he said.
Nacaya said the increased is very alarming based on the facts and figures that he got. Focusing on the generation charge which has three other sub-lines compared to the bills issued by Misamis Oriental Rural Electric Services and Cooperative – 1 (Moresco-1) who had service area in some barangays in Cagayan de Oro in the previous month.
“Billing showed some adjustments. And in one of the forum 2017 Quality Circles Convention which one of the speakers who discuss on power that Mindanao has already surplus of power to 60 to 90 MW after a Coal-Fired Power Plant in Villanueva is already serviceable,” he said.
Under the new Epira law, he said that the distribution company can now choose in what company they can source out the lowest rate of power to give beneficial services to the public.
“Over supply man kaha ang Mindanao karon ngano man nga wala mibarato ang rate nga ang generation area man kaha ang responsible. I am just wondering. Ngano wala man mag-increase ang Moresco-1,” he added.
For their part, Senior Vice-President for Operation of Cepalco Ralph Paguio dismissed the claims of Nacaya and said their company is still considered as among the top three companies that has the cheapest rate compared to Moresco.
Paguio clarified that they could not purchase anywhere, but to those company distributors that they are under contract with. He claimed that Nacaya is referring to the wholesale electricity spot market.
“That is not yet place in Mindanao. If you need power you buy power from that market. A generating company is obliged to put your power supply on the market and they can sell it in a proper price. Indeed, there is a supply surplus in Mindanao because there are some coal-fired power plant that they are not contracted yet to sell their power. If there is surplus it does not mean that there are cheap power,” he explained.
He assured the members of the city council that they will purchase power if the wholesale spot market is available in Mindanao. But this cheap price is not available all the time unless a distribution company had based load contract
“Ang tinod rate sa Cepalco is only the distribution charge og wala kini molihok, walay labot ang generation charge. Wala kami’y ginansiya ana. Tinuod misaka ang generation charged of 50 centavos apan wala kami’y nadungog nga reklamo because people know the fluctuation of prices in fuel,” he concluded.