THE CALL for a review of power contract agreements entered into by electric cooperatives is gaining grounds at the House of Representatives as more congressmen would like to look into this matter.

Leyte Fourth District Rep. Richard Gomez said more members of the congress are heeding the call of their constituents to look into the problem of high cost of electricity.

“We have a big force in congress and we will work together to bring down power rates,” Gomez told the media. “We understand that the power rates should be lowered down to benefit the people. As the lawmaker from the district, I will work not only for the district but for the country. We will try to work it out to bring it down,” he explained.

“It is not only us who are having this problem but also a lot of cooperatives all over the country are having problems with high rates of electricity,” Gomez said, adding, “Hopefully in the next few months, we will be able to get an answer on what needs to be done especially in Leyte where our source of electricity is very cheap now as compared to the coal power that our cooperative buys.”

Gomez said the high cost of electricity in Ormoc and in the whole region is a “grave injustice” considering that the city hosts the biggest geothermal power plant in the country.

He further said he has met with officials of the Energy Regulation Commission (ERC) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) in finding a solution to this problem. “Hopefully ma-renew ng NEA at ERC ang power contract agreement na nabili nila from before,” he said.

Earlier, the Leyte Electric Cooperative V (LEYECO V) announced a Php 3.0655/kilowatt-hour increase on power rates this September bringing the tariff to Php 17.0340/kWh from Php 13.9681/kWh in August.

In a statement, LEYECO V said the increase is due to high generation charges caused by continued increase of coal price in the world market and the weakening of peso against the US dollar. “Based on the world market report, the continued impact of the high coal price is expected to remain until the end of 2022,” LEYECO V stated. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail September 12-18, 2022 issue)