Albay gov on high power rates: Like ‘paying for rape’

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:37:00 09/14/2010

Filed Under: Electricity Production & Distribution

LEGAZPI CITY—The governor of Albay lashed at the continuing excessive rates of electricity in the province, a major source of geothermal energy in Luzon, saying it was like “paying to get raped.”

In Iloilo, the nongovernment group Freedom from Debt Coalition described power rates in the province, that is now being forced to accept coal-fired power plants, as among the highest in the world.

Gov. Joey Salceda said while the province is a major supplier of power to the Luzon Grid through the Tiwi geothermal fields, it suffers from excessive rates as a “perverse consequence” of national government policies.

“They siphon off our resources and deplete our geothermal reserves, and yet our people and businesses must further shell out P1.5 billion for it,” said Salceda.

The province, said the governor, was billed P1.5 billion recently when it bought electricity from the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) at P15 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

“It is like paying to get raped,” he said.

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