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BAGUIO CITY– While power rates in other public and private distribution utilities in the country are on an upward trend, consumers of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) continue to enjoy cheap electricity charges following the significant reduction in their power bills this October by as much as P0.58 per kilowatthour (kwh).
BENECO general manager Melchor S. Licoben claimed that one of the major factors in the significant reduction in the power rates of consumers is the drop in the generation systems charge from P3.7375/kwh in September to P3.3325/kwh in October.
Further, he claimed that there was also a slight reduction in BENECO’s systems loss charge from P0.3927/kwh in September to P0.3388/kwh in October.
However, the BENECO official stated that there was a minimal increase in the transmission charge courtesy of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) from P0.6965/kwh in September to P0.7992/kwh this month.
On the other hand, Licoben also reported a drop in the electric cooperative’s commercial rates from P6.7805/kwh in September to P6.2431/kwh in October.
For the rates of the consumption of low voltage public buildings, BENECO stipulated a reduction in the same from P6.7527/kwh in September to P6.2154/kwh in October.
According to him, power charges for the consumption of streetlights also dropped from P6.7805/kwh in September to only P6.2321/kwh in October.
Industrial consumers will be billed for their consumption this month at P6.2118/kwh which is lower compared to the P6.7491/kwh last month.
With the significant reduction in the power rates being charged by the electric cooperative from its current consumers, BENECO remains to be one of the electric cooperatives that charge its consumers with the cheapest power rates compared to much bigger private and public distribution utilities operating in viable areas in the various parts of the country.
Licoben claimed that the electric cooperative is able to maintain its cheap power rates because of the reliability of BENECO’s power distribution system coupled with the infusion of the state-of-the-art information and communication technology (ICT) equipment amidst the fact that it is sustaining the delivery of quality power to non-viable areas within its franchise area, specifically in the different remote villages of Benguet, for more than four decades.
Licoben disclosed that it took at least 3 decades for BENECO to be able to realize its objective of providing the consumers with quality service through the establishment of a reliable power distribution system and cheap power despite having to cater to the power requirements of people living in remote villages of Benguet that are classified as non-viable areas.
He asserted that BENECO remains committed to sustain the implementation of the government’s rural electrification program in still unenergized sitios in Benguet through the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) that was pioneered by the electric cooperative during the term of former general manager Gerardo P. Verzosa.
The general manager cited that the prevailing cheap power cost of the electric cooperative could be attributed to the unrelenting efforts of the personnel to reduce the systems loss and unnecessary expenses that will translate to efficient and effective service to the consumers. By HENT