Pampanga folk baffled as LGU hails power generation hike as ‘good news’
MABALACAT CITY — To the surprise of some netizens, the city government of San Fernando (CSFP), the capital of Pampanga province, hailed as “good news” the 104 percent increase in power generation charges to be imposed on consumers by a local power distribution company.
“GOOD NEWS. SFELAPCO’s statement regarding their impending generation rate increase,” the CSFP City Information Office said on its Facebook post recently.
It was referring to San Fernando Electric Light and Power Company’s announcement that the generation charge for January 2023 will be P7.90 plus value added tax per kilowatt hour (kWh) and not P10.50 per kWh as it earlier anticipated.
This, SFELAPCO stated, was due to the decreasing price of coal on the world market and the appreciation of the Philippine peso.
“Tumaas din naman ang generation charge, P7.90 plus VAT, dati nasa almost P5,” a San Fernando resident said.
“Dati P4.22723 ang generation charge nila base sa January (December 2022 bill) na resibo ko. E ngayon P7.90 plus,” another said.
On its website, SFELAPCO said its generation charge for December last year was P4.33 per kWh.
Without value added tax, the increase in generation charge from December 2022 to January 2023 is 82 percent. If the 12 percent VAT is included, the generation charge will be P8.85 per kWh or an increase of 104 percent.
San Fernando Mayor Vilma Caluag and other city officials, the league of villages in the city, the federation of homeowners’ associations, and business groups have been opposing the 50 percent generation rate increase in the capital city starting January this year.
Last month, SFELAPCO said the generation charge would increase because it now sources electricity from the GN Power Mariveles (GNPM), which operates a coal-fired powerplant in Bataan. It said its generation contract with Aboitiz Power Renewables, Inc. (APRI) expired in December last year.
APRI generates electricity through its two geothermal power plants in Laguna and Albay provinces.
APRI is under the Aboitiz Group of companies, while GNPM is a partnership between AboitizPower and Ayala Group’s AC Energy Holdings, Inc.
The Inquirer had contacted the information office of San Fernando to ask why it called the 104 percent generation rate increase good news, but it has yet to respond.
Pampanga residents oppose power rate hike in capital city
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