NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
A subsidy from the national government is urgently appealed to in order to save the Boholanos from paying higher power bills amidst this emergency situation where electricity from the geothermal power plant in Leyte was cut after the devastating typhoon Odette hit the province last Dec. 16.
This was the statement issued by Rep. Aris Aumentado, who said power bills whose average cost is P9.80 per kilowatt-hours can go as high as P16 to P18 per kilowatt-hour.
In his letter addressed to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, the Boholano solon said “now is the time that Boholanos are in dire need of your intervention” to save them from paying double of their present power bills since after Bohol was temporarily cut from the services of the geothermal power plant in Leyte.
The present power supply comes from the bunker-fed Power Barge 104 and the Bohol Diesel Power Plant which will double the billing to the end power consumers.
The solon appealed to the President to save both the business sector and private individual residents from sourcing out funds for additional expenses in their power consumption. This is also true for the local government units, he said.
Aumentado told the President the dislocation of several Boholanos after the typhoon makes it “totally difficult for them to pay higher electric bills” since most of them have their means of livelihood affected in one way or the other.
In his letter to Pres. Duterte, the congressman, mentioned the case of some provinces which are getting government subsidies in their power bills under the so-called Small Island Power Utilities Group.
He cited provinces like Palawan, Mindoro, Masbate and Romblon whose power supply comes from diesel-run generating units are given subsidies by the national government. These provinces are outside the grid of the National Grid Corp of the Philippines (NGCP).
“The Boholanos are appealing for this subsidy considering that the province got isolated from the power grid supply while she is presently under a state of calamity,” Rep. Aumentado concluded.
The solon said the power issue remains close to his priorities recalling that the project on the submarine cables from Leyte to Bohol was started during the term of then Gov. Erico Aumentado.