TACLOBAN CITY-An official of the Leyte II Electric Cooperative(Leyeco II), the power cooperative servicing Tacloban and two nearby towns, said that its number of member-consumers have declined partly due to the implementation of the no-build zone of the government as a result of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The decline of its member-consumers have reached to 21.8 percent as of May which could spell trouble to the member-consumers, said Engineer Rommel Moron, chief of the maintenance supervision division of the Leyeco II.

Prior Yolanda struck Tacloban and parts of Leyte, Leyeco II had 64,419 member-consumers. But as of May this year, it has only 50,387 member-consumers.

Aside from Tacloban, the said power cooperative covers the town of Babatngon and Palo, among hard-hit town in Leyte.

Before Yolanda, Tacloban had 48,932 member-consumers but now it has only 36,964 member-consumers; Palo has 9,509 active member-consumers from its previous 11,779 member-consumers.

Babatngon, which was totally affected by Yolanda, saw its member-consumer increase from its previous 3,708 member-consumers to the current 3,914 member-consumers.

Moron said that the decline of its member-consumers had several reasons which included the enforcement of the no-build zone policy by the government.

According to him, houses that were located in the coastal areas, which were cover under the policy, were no longer allowed to have power connections.

“But these were just marginalized members or informal settlers. Nevertheless, they were Leyeco’s member-consumers which affected the (number of its household connections),” Moron said.

The no-build zone policy refers to the non-construction of houses and structures 40 meters from the shoreline.

Moron, however, could not say as to how many houses within the no-build zone policy were disallowed to have their power connections back.

Several houses, mostly made of light materials, begun to sprout in areas declared within the no-build zones.

Aside from the implementation of the no-build zone policy, the other reasons cited by Moron for the decline of the number of the member-consumers of the Leyeco II were owners of the houses have yet to return or have yet to repair.

The Leyeco II does not restore power unless a house or structure that sustained damages have been repaired.

Meantime, Moron said that with a decrease of its member-consumers could have a drastic effect to both member-consumers and the power cooperative itself.

For one, he said, the possibility that the Leyeco II management would enforce an increase of power rate is not remote.

In fact, he said, just last month, it increased its power rate to 9.0622 per kilowatt hour from the previous 7.7349/kwhr.

According to Moron, the reason for the increase was due to the increase of the generation cost imposed by its power suppliers. Its generation cost stand at 5.6973/kwhr from its previous 4.9122/kwhr.

The Leyeco II sources its power from Green Core and KEPCO (Korean Electric Power Corp).

Leyeco II’s distribution charge system, which it charges to the member-consumers, remains constant at 0.2748/kwhr.

Moron could not divulge yet if the decline of its member-consumers have resulted for the decrease of its revenue.(JOEY A. GABIETA)