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Meralco rates seen to increase in May

Customers of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) can expect a higher monthly bill in May, to reflect the successive price hikes of petroleum pump prices on generation charges.

Speaking before the Senate on Monday, Meralco Vice President and Head of Utility Economics Larry Fernandez said the higher charges will come with the repricing of the Malampaya price in line with higher global crude prices.

“Mukhang definitely ho magkakaroon ng increase for the second quarter repricing of Malampaya,” he explained, as Meralco’s biggest supply source is a plant which uses Malampaya’s natural gas.

Fernandez noted that global prices have significantly increased, with the average prices recorded at $83 per barrel in January and $93 in February, versus the $60 yo $70 per barrel in the second half of 2021.

“The selling price of Malampaya to First Gas [will] be reflected in the May generation charge, so sa May po mararamdaman nung customers ng Meralco any increase in the Malampaya price,” he explained.

The upward adjustment comes as domestic pump prices of petroleum products have been hiked for the past 10 weeks, with oil firms set to implement another big-time hike this week.

Meralco already hiked its household rates by 6.25 centavos per kilowatt-hour this month, translating to an increase of around P13 in the total bill of residential customers consuming 200 kilowatt-hours.

Meralco constructs, operates, and maintains electric distribution systems in the cities and municipalities of Bulacan, Cavite, Metro Manila, and Rizal, as well as certain areas in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Pampanga, and Quezon.

Shares in Meralco closed Monday at P354.20 apiece, down by P15.80 or 4.27% from last Friday’s finish of P370.00. — RSJ, GMA News