EDITORIAL: Refund overcharged electric bills

July 28, 2014 at 7:48 am Leave a comment


EDITORIAL

Why is the management of Pangasinan III Electric Cooperative (Panelco III) taking so long to implement the refund of money it over collected on December 2013 and January 2014?northernwatch 7-27-14 (1)
Consumer-members of the said electric cooperative are already asking Panelco III for the immediate refund of their hard earned money. The Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PMEC) has already re-computed the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), which has been the basis of the total amount to be refunded and yet as of now the request of consumer-members fell into the deaf ears of Panelco III management.
On May this year, PEMC transferred to Panelco III a partial amount of P25 million and in the first week of July another P31 million was transferred. A total of P56 million has been transferred.
During the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s hearing last May 5, Panelco III OIC General Manager Allan Casem promised that the refund of the overcharged bills will be reflected in the June and July billing of the consumer-members. He said the consumer-members can expect around 40-50% slash in their June electric bills and 30-40% in their July bills. However, Panelco III seems to be delaying the refund without giving any reason to the consumer-members.
Why the delay of refund when the money is already in its custody? Is this not a blatant disregard of the welfare of the consumer-members who are the owners of the electric cooperative?
Panelco III has 150,000 consumer-members in the 18 municipalities of eastern Pangasinan including Urdaneta City.
Is Panelco III waiting for the time when the consumer-members will bombard them again with complaints? The management, which include the members of the Board of Directors and the employees, should be aware that they owe their positions from the consumer-members. They are there to protect the interest and welfare of the consumer-members.
Panelco III implemented in December 2013 and continued up to January 2014 the power rate hike amounting to Php 5.63 per kilowatt hour (KWH) or from Php 9.80 per KWH to Php 15.40 per KWH.
That was considered as the second highest power rate increase in the country.
According to 6th District Board Member Ranjit Ramos Shahani on the said increase, “Panelco III is patently negligent and the rate increase was the result of its wrong and bad commercial decision and the consequential electricity rate hike caused by its negligence must not be passed on to the consumers.”
Does Panelco III have to wait for another case to be filed against it for reneging on its promise to refund the over charged bills?

Our call to the management of Panelco III: Please act now. Return the money of the consumer-members. There is no reason for you to delay the implementation of refund.
Taking the words of Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So, “Now that the overcharged amount of P56 million has been given back to Panelco III, it is time to return the amount to the consumer-members.”
And we agree.

Entry filed under: News.

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