By By Fernan A. Gianan
Another power rate increase in the offing
posted 24 days ago  ·  
314 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

Despite hopes that the Clark-Virac-Clark flights of Philippine Airlines would be restored on or before the celebration of Catanduanes’ Foundation Day in October, all signs point to the airline not changings its mind on the matter.

On the PAL website, try booking a flight from Clark to Virac and you will find the answer. Once you type “Virac” into the destination box, a message appears, saying “no match found/invalid character.”

It appears now that the route, described in earlier a PAL press release as a “prime initiative” of outgoing Congressman Cesar Sarmiento, has been scrapped largely due to politics and not for business reasons.

For a route that in its early days even saw just one passenger on the Clark-Virac flight, its last flights to Clark have been almost full. In one instance, 64 passengers boarded the 76-seater Bombardier Q400 jetprop, an indication that the public had adjusted to the bus commute between Metro Manila and Clark that once discouraged them from buying tickets at the start.

It’s a shame for Lucio Tan’s airline to abandon Virac for the second time in its history and left its sky commuters at the mercy of the remaining commercial airline operating in the route.

Those who moved for the scrapping of the route deserved scorn from Catandunganons and its visitors.

*****

Just three weeks from now, on July 11, 2019, the Energy Regulatory Commission in Pasig City will conduct the public consultation for Luzon stakeholders on the petition of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA) seeking the Commission’s approval of its proposed rules to allow the pass-through of Real Property Tax (RPT).

The group filed the petition in October 2018 following a Supreme Court decision in the case of Meralco vs. the city assessor and city treasurer of Lucena City wherein it affirmed that transformers, electric posts, transmission lines, insulators and electric meters are not exempted from RPT imposed by local government units.

Acknowledging that the tax can no longer be avoided, Philreca said electric cooperatives do not have surplus funds on which the RPT can be charged like in private distribution utilities like Meralco.

It may be recalled that after being asked to pay more than P5 million pesos in business and realty taxes by the Bato municipal government, the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) filed a petition for tax recovery with the ERC, with the expense to be recovered through a rate increase to be imposed on top of the usual power rate on Bato consumers.

Under ERC Resolution No. 16, series of 2009, issued pursuant to the provisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), cooperatives are allowed to recover from consumers “pass-through” costs such as generation charge of power suppliers, transmission charge, systems loss, lifeline subsidy, franchise tax, and business tax.

The resolution does not cover real property taxes, something that Philreca and its member cooperatives wish to correct.

If the petition is granted, expect another slight increase in your monthly electric bill, particularly for Bato member-consumers.

*****

THE REPAIRMAN’S DESIRE. The sexy housewife was built so well the TV repairman couldn’t keep his eyes of her. Every time she came in the room, he’d nearly jerk his neck right out of joint looking at her.

    When he’d finished she paid him and said, “I’m going to make an unusual request. But you have to first promise me we’ll keep it a secret.”

    The repairman quickly agreed and she went on.

    “Well, it’s kind of embarrassing to talk about, but while my husband is a kind, decent man, he has a certain physical weakness.  A certain disability. Now, I’m a woman and you’re a man…”

    The repairman salivated in anticipation, “Yes, yes!”

    “And, since I’ve been wanting to, ever since you came in the door…”

    “Yes, yes!”

    “Would you please help me move the refrigerator?”


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