Philippines Report

Expect hike in power rates next month — Meralco

Meralco customers might see an increase in electricity bills starting February as the excise tax on coal and the reimposition of value added tax on transmission push up generation charges.

In a televised press briefing Wednesday, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga announced the reduction of power rates in January by P0.5260 per kilowatt hour due to the cut in generation charges during the period.

He, however, alerted the consumers that there might be an “upward adjustment by next month.”

Zaldarriaga said customers would pay an additional 8 centavos per kilowatt hour— around 1 centavo per kilowatt hour for excise tax and around 7 centavos per kilowatt hour for VAT on transmission.

He noted that the impact of excise tax on coal on Meralco is minimal as natural gas comprises a majority of the company’s supply.

 

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Meralco head of utility economics Larry Fernandez said the effect of the imposition of the excise tax on coal, which took effect on January 1, and the reimposition of VAT on transmission depends on when the supplier and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines would include the taxes in their bills to Meralco.

“On VAT transmission, if the NGCP implements it in January, then we may see it on the February bills to customers,” Fernandez said.

NGCP's VAT exemption was repealed under Section 86 of the TRAIN law. – PhilStar-

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