The Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) plans to charge consumers the Real Property Tax (RPT) imposed by the local government units (LGUs) for its electrical posts, insulators, transformers, electric meters, and transmission lines.
Ceneco Engineer Normal Pollentes said they have joined the 120 other electric cooperatives all over the country under the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (Philreca) in their petition to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to pass on extra charges to the member-consumers.
Pollentes said that Philreca’s issuance of the rules allowing the pass-through of RPT is valid and timely considering that the LGUs have assessed and collected RPT from electric cooperatives.
He added that if the ERC grants the petition, it would mean an increase of one to two centavos per kilowatt hour on the consumers’ electric bills.
Philreca also stated in their petition the need to allow the pass-through of RPT became urgent following the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Manila Electric Company vs. the City Assessor and City Treasurer of Lucena City, where it was affirmed that transfers, electric posts, transmission lines, insulators and electric meters are not exempted from RPT under the LGUs.
It further stated that the existing tariff of electric cooperatives does not provide for surplus funds by way of a return on rate base and depreciation like those of the private distribution utilities.
Ceneco’s franchise areas in Negros Occidental were the cities of Silay, Talisay, Bacolod, and Bago with municipalities of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto./PN