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Lasting power price cuts sought 

SENATOR Ana Theresia “Risa” N. Hontiveros-Baraquel on Tuesday asked the government to enforce vital policy changes in the energy sector to cut power costs instead of waiting for “minimal and temporary” price cuts from Manila Electric Co. (Meralco). 

“The electricity price reduction was expected because the prices of imported coal in the world market fell,” she said in a statement in Filipino. “The question is, when will consumers enjoy lower electricity prices? This is not permanent.” 

Ms. Hontiveros-Baraquel was reacting to the P0.72 a kilowatt-hour decrease in rates announced by Meralco for the July as a result of the lower generation rate it receives from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and its contracts with coal plants. 

The senator noted that apart from the generation charge, there are separate items in the electricity bill that can be reduced further and have a long-term effect, such as the distribution charge of Meralco and the transmission charge of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines. — Jan Jiminel Cacdac

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