AFP owes P10.9M in unpaid power bills
If police or military offices were households, they won’t be allowed to enjoy electricity service for long for failing to pay their monthly bills.
The Department of Energy (DOE) had to plead with the country’s uniformed services to settle their electricity bills in the interest of energy security.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi announced on Tuesday that the DOE had signed an agreement with the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard and the National Bureau of Investigation in relation to settling their unpaid bills totaling P17 million.
Citing data from the National Electrification Administration, Cusi said the amount was owed to 23 electric cooperatives across the country.
One cooperative is in the Ilocos region, five are in Southern Tagalog, two in Bicol, one in Western Visayas, three in Eastern Visayas, two on the Zamboanga Peninsula, one in Davao, five in Soccsksargen and three in Caraga.
Biggest unpaid bill
The AFP has the biggest unpaid bill at a total of P10.9 million, including penalties and surcharges.
In Zamboanga City, the Philippine Naval Station was found to have not paid about P4 million, followed by nearby Edwin Andrews Air Base, P3.5 million.
The PNP owed a total of P5.3 million, with the command in Zamboanga City accounting for P1.7 million.
The Coast Guard owes cooperatives close to P316,000 and the NBI, P315,000.
Performance of utilities
Cusi said the unpaid bills might lead to weak and unstable operational performance of the power distributors.
“Being part of the government, we need to be earnest in pursuing energy resiliency and efficiency,” he said.
The secretary said that in order to attain the government’s energy goals, all agencies must be “able to uphold our commitment to our stakeholders and service providers.”
“As we’ve been pushing for massive electrification, energy efficiency and security of the country, I am pleading on behalf of the distribution utilities (DUs), including the electric cooperatives (ECs), for the concerned government institutions to settle their outstanding accounts,” he said.
DUs and ECs collect revenue to generate cash flow that would enable them to provide efficient and sustainable services to the areas they serve, according to Cusi.
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