Cement manufacturers have expressed serious concerns over high electricity rates and their impact on production cost.
Felix Enrico Alfiler, president of the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Phils. (Cemap), said electricity prices in Luzon are expected to shoot up by 34 percent by year-end in the wake of new rounds of approved rate increases.
"The Energy Regulatory Commission’s provisional approval for a Napocor rate increase of its generation charge of P1.23 per kilowatt-hour will strike a multiple whammy on power-intensive industries like cement, steel and petrochemicals, which are already buffeted by skyrocketing costs of inputs," Alfiler said.
Napocor’s rate increase effective Sept. 26 does not take into account Meralco’s increase of P0.17/kWh, which takes effect this month, and the petition of the National Transmission Corp. for P0.50 per kwh increase, which will likewise impact on industry’s production costs, he said.
The Visayas will also experience an increase in rates by P0.22 per kwh and P0.27/kWh in Mindanao.
Alfiler noted that the Philippines posted the second highest power cost in Asia, second to Japan in 2003.