leyeco2TACLOBAN CITY, Aug. 1 — A top official of the Leyte II Electric Cooperative (Leyeco II) said the implementation of Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 remains a top concern among electric cooperatives in the region.

Leyeco II General Manager Fernan Paul Tan said some reforms under the law are unclear to them.

“The implementation of this law is like a trial and error for all of us. This is really a big challenge,” said Tan, recently appointed as Leyeco II general manager.

Enacted in 2001, EPIRA or Republic Act 9136 aims to reform the power sector by restructuring of the entire power industry and to privatize most state-owned power generation and transmission assets to foster competition among power players and bring down electricity prices.

Among other benefits, RA 9136 is designed to bring down electricity rates and to improve the delivery of power supply to end-users by encouraging greater competition and efficiency in the electricity industry.

The reform seeks to give stakeholders consumer empowerment, higher efficiency, open access, industry accountability, competition in generation and supply, and electricity tariff unbundling.

“With the recent situation wherein power shortage was experienced, the cooperatives which are dependent in the distribution charges will not earn, if no electricity is consumed,” Tan added.

The official noted that cost of electricity remained high even with the implementation of EPIRA LAW.

Records show that out of the PHP378.92 million operating cost of Leyeco II last year, about PHP343.5 were spent for power cost.

The electric cooperative sells electricity to consumers at PHP6.60 per kilowatt hour. Leyeco II, which serves this city and nearby towns, has 61,625 connections as of end of first quarter.