Meco director blocks move for ‘cheaper’ power supplier

·3 min read

MEMBERS of the Mactan Electric Company (Meco) Board of Directors said they were baffled as to why one of the Board’s 11 members blocked their move to secure provisional authority from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to enter into a contract with a new power supplier that offered a much cheaper rate.

Meco had planned to tap the services of San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp. to provide them with stable power supply for only P3.30 per kilowatt-hour (KwH) within a period of 10 years.

The cost is significantly lower than what Meco currently pays its current supplier, Kepco-SPC, that charges P14 per KwH.

Meco senior vice president Gilbert Pagobo said if a household currently pays a monthly rate of P2,000 for electricity, this would have dropped to P1,600 if San Miguel were to supply power to Meco.

Based on ERC records, it was Meco board member Maria Luz Caminero who opposed Meco’s request for provisional authority to enter into an agreement with a new power supplier.

“Dako namong kalibog pud nga kaayuhan man unta ni sa konsumidor, iya mang gibabagan (We are so confused as to why she blocked the move when this would have benefited consumers),” said Pagobo in a talk with Superbalita Cebu.

“Mandate sa Meco is also to protect the interest sa consumer, kon mo-agi og bidding ang pinaka-ubos baya ang pili-on. Di unta siya mobabag (It is Meco’s mandate to protect the interest of the consumer. If this had gone through bidding, the lowest bidder would have been chosen. She shouldn’t have blocked it),” Meco administration head Jaz Rusianan said.

Pagobo said Caminero had claimed before the ERC that Meco committed lapses in the process of selecting a new power supplier.

“Which part did we violate? Meco’s mandate is to choose the best and the cheapest (power supply),” Pagobo said in Cebuano.

‘Business interests’

Earlier, Meco president and chairman of the board Douglas LuYm in a statement to consumers dated Nov. 2, 2021 explained there was a misunderstanding among the members of the Meco board of directors due to business interests.

“Though there might be squabbles within the directors of the company due to different business interests, but I believe that the consumers should not be made to suffer,” read part of LuYm’s statement.

“I believe that making power rates affordable is good for the people especially in this time of pandemic and this will help the economy of Mactan to recover fast,” he added.

Another hearing before the ERC has been set on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

Sources said Caminero promised to reveal her reasons for blocking the Board’s plans during the next ERC hearing.

Meanwhile, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan said he hoped the conflict would soon be resolved so that Oponganons can enjoy cheaper power.

A total of 92,499 residents of Lapu-Lapu City and 12,600 consumers in Cordova town rely on power supplied by Meco.

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