Lawmaker seeks congressional inquiry on high electricity cost

By on February 8, 2015

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MANILA — Why is the cost of electricity in the Philippines still one of the highest among Asian countries?

This is one big question which Rep. Alfredo “Albee” B. Benitez wants answered through a congressional inquiry in the wake of the recent plunge in the world prices of thermal coal used in energy generation in the country.

Benitez has filed a House Resolution 1819, entitled “A Resolution directing the Committee on Energy to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the continuous high cost of electricity despite the decrease in the global price of coal, the same being a major source of energy generation in the country.”

“It is undeniable that Filipinos continue to feel the burden of paying the high cost of electricity in the country and that recent surveys reveal that the Philippines ranks atop the nations with the highest electricity rates in Asia,” Benitez said.

Benitez cited a report from the Department of Energy which states that “as of 2013, over 36% of the total Power Generation in the country today comes from coal energy, making it the highest percentage among other forms of energy sources.”

Furthermore, Benitez revealed that the global price for thermal coal has gone down from a high of US$ 85 per metric ton in 2013 to as low as US$ 48.6 per metric ton as of January 2015.

“Despite the recent plunge in coal prices, the cost of electricity in the country still remains one of the highest among Asian countries,” Benitez stressed.