THE tripping of the Cebu-Negros 138-kilovolt Line 1 prompted electricity rate spikes in Iloilo and Negros, the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. (Philreca) said on Tuesday.

"Indeed, there has been a series of spikes in electricity rates in Iloilo and Negros areas, not just those that are serviced by electric cooperatives but even those areas under a private distribution utility," Philreca said in a statement.

"What we are hoping right now is an assistance from the Committee on Energy to urge generation companies and the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) though the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) to implement the order of the ERC so that necessary adjustments can be done by electric cooperatives on their billings," it said.

"Specifically, we hope that we can urge the IEMOP to implement in the soonest possible time the adjustment from June to August 2021 WESM (wholesale electricity spot market) bills so that electric cooperatives in Iloilo and Negros provinces — even the private distribution utility in the area — can implement the necessary refund of the amount to our member-consumer-owners in their succeeding monthly bills," it added.

Back in June, the aforementioned transmission line tripped due to the damage caused by the Department of Public Works and Highways on one of the lines of the Cebu-Negros Submarine Cable (CNSC) during its conduct of an amphibious dredging in the mouth of Bio-os River in Barangay Pondol, Amlan, Negros Oriental.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) subsequently ordered PEMC to stop the collection of congestion and other applicable charges, including line rentals, attributable to the CNSC outage.

The ERC had said PEMC should stop collecting such charges until the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines completes restoration and operationalization of the said transmission line, or until it comes up with a more applicable pricing and settlement solution.

In response, PEMC President Leonido Pulido 3rd said they were fleshing out the details of the amounts and the manner of refund to the affected customers, as well as the recommendations to be submitted to the ERC on the pricing and settlement solution that may be applied during the repair period.