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News Briefs: Meralco raises rates by 85 centavos per kilowatt-hour

/ 07:17 AM March 10, 2018

Meralco raises rates by 85 centavos per kilowatt-hour

Residential customers of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will see higher rates for the second month in a row, this time by 85 centavos per kilowatt-hour, as tight supply drove spot market prices further up.

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This month’s rate increase means that a typical residential customer that consumes 200 kWh would see an additional P170 in their bill, compared to the previous month.

Meralco also said that the price increase should have been 97 centavos per kWh, but it would implement a lower adjustment “in order to cushion the impact” on consumers. The distribution giant said the remaining 12 centavos per kWh would be carried over to next month’s billing cycle.

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For the March billing, Meralco’s overall rate went up to P10.32 per kWh from P9.47 per kWh in February.

The latest rate increase was mainly due to a 74.24-centavo per kWh increase in the overall generation charge. —RONNEL W. DOMINGO

Sacked urban poor exec gets new top post at HUDCC

President Duterte has named one of the urban poor commissioners he had fired to one of the top posts at the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

Melissa Avanceña-Aradanas is the new deputy secretary general of the HUDCC, replacing Patrocino Jude Esguerra III.

Aradanas is reportedly a cousin of Mr. Duterte’s partner, Honeylet Avanceña. She was also one of the commissioners of the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor that the President sacked last December.

Mr. Duterte had fired all the officials of the commission and criticized its then chair, Terry Ridon, for his numerous trips abroad.

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He also fired the other commissioners because the agency was not producing results.

Meanwhile, the President also named former Tarlac Rep. Monica Teodoro his special envoy to the United Nations Children’s Fund.  —LEILA B. SALAVERRIA

DOJ dismisses rebellion charges vs Maute wife

The Department of Justice (DOJ) had dismissed with finality the criminal complaint filed by the police and military against the wife of one of the slain leaders of the Maute group that attacked Marawi City.

In a resolution dated March 7, the DOJ Task Force Marawi, headed by state prosecutor Peter Ong, dismissed the rebellion complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Judge Advocate General’s Office against Najiya Dilangalen Karon-Maute for lack of probable cause.

“Her act of bringing food with her husband are not overt acts of rebellion,” the panel said. The authorities based their case on the testimony of a Marawi resident who said he saw Najiya and her husband bring food to members of the group at the Bato Mosque on two separate occasions.

Najiya was the wife of Mohammad Khayam Maute, alias “Otto,” who died in the Marawi battle. —JEROME ANING

Envoy urges Filipinos to study in US universities

The United States wants more Filipinos to study in its universities to not only promote stronger ties between the two countries but to also help students have an edge in landing a job.

US Ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, said during the third Education USA Fair held in Manila that given the growing interest in their higher education institutions, they expect the number of Filipino students studying in their country to continue to increase.

Last year, he said that more than 3,000 Filipinos studied in the States, up by 4.2 percent from 2016. “We expect that trend to continue. We want to encourage that.

We do want more and more Filipino students to come and study in the US,” he said. —JOVIC YEE

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