Libanan prods House to probe electric coop that charges higher than Meralco

At a glance

  • House Minority Leader and 4Ps Party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan (In photo) wants to get to the bottom of Eastern Samar’s electricity woes.

  • (Photo from Facebook)

If an electric cooperative in the countryside is charging 30 percent higher than the rate of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), chances are there's something wrong.

That's why House Minority Leader and 4Ps Party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan penned and filed House Resolution (HR) No. 846, which seeks a congressional probe in aid of legislation into Eastern Samar’s power crisis and Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative Inc. (Esamelco’s) alleged deteriorating service.

The measure is specifically asking the House Committee on Energy to investigate the “inefficient operation” of Esamelco that has supposedly caused power rates in that province to shoot up amid frequent outages.

“Eastern Samar is now reeling not only from excessive electricity rates, but also from recurring power outages and persistent low voltage power supply,” Libanan said in a statement Sunday, March 19.

“We want Congress to get to the bottom of Esamelco’s bad and costly service so that we can fix the problem,” added the solon, who formerly represented Eastern Samar’s lone congressional district.

According to Libanan, Esamelco currently charges residential customers P15.62 per kilowatt hour (kwh), which is 30 percent higher than the Meralco’s P12.04 per kwh rate.

Esamelco is the lone electricity distributor in Eastern Samar’s 22 municipalities and the provincial capital of Borongan City – a service area with a population of almost 500,000.

“We must stress that all electric cooperatives are duty-bound to provide dependable and adequate supply of electricity in their service areas,” Libanan said.

“The extremely high rate is unacceptable, considering that Esamelco cannot even provide reliable power supply on a constant and continuous basis,” added the minority leader.

Meralco is the largest electricity distribution company in the Philippines. It services the entire Metro Manila, all of the provinces of Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan, and parts of the provinces of Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.