Biliran Governor Gerard Roger Espina. (File photo)

TACLOBAN CITY – The provincial government of Biliran will hold a public dialogue with the Biliran Electric Cooperative (Bileco) to tackle the staggering increase in power rates in the province in September.

Biliran Governor Gerard Roger Espina instructed the provincial board led by Vice Governor Brigido Caneja III to organize a face-to-face public hearing with Bileco to clarify the issue.

“Since online live interviews could not reach the general masses, it is fitting for the concerned agency to face a proper audience and hopefully to come up with an immediate and long-term solution to curb this problem,” Espina said in a statement on Monday.

In September 2022, Bileco charged the highest power rate among the 11 electric cooperatives in the Eastern Visayas region at PHP20.9563 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

Earlier, Bileco said the power rate went up by PHP1.6268 per kWh for residential power consumers largely due to the rising cost of coal fuel used by its power source, GN Power Dinginin Ltd. Co. based in Mariveles, Bataan.

The adjustment has been triggered by the depreciation of the Philippine peso since the importation cost of fuel is dictated by the foreign exchange rate, according to Bileco.

Power consumers in Biliran are paying PHP12.8673 per kWh for generation cost; PHP0.8440 per kWh for transmission; PHP3.1955 per kWh for distribution; PHP1.8398 per kWh for value-added tax; and PHP2.1697 per kWh for system loss, subsidies, and universal charges.

Bileco has been distributing power to 38,964 power consumers in eight towns in Biliran, one of the country's smallest provinces. (PNA)