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Albay power firm suffers P57.3-M monthly losses

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Albay Power and Energy Corporation (APEC) is bleeding dry as it suffers some P57.3-million in monthly revenue losses due to the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and aging arrears.

APEC Corporate Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility head Lesley Capus said that the electric company’s collection efficiency has drastically dropped to 60 percent beginning July or four months after the community quarantine was imposed in Albay and other provinces of Bicol.

Capus said that the APEC’s system loss remains high, ranging from 17 to 19 percent, which translates to an annual loss of some P680 million.

Capus said the very high systems loss is due to the old distribution network facilities, illegal electricity users, and theft of electric power.

He said that of the over 200,000 legitimate electricity consumers, more than 30,900 of them are engaged in unauthorized use of meters or with illegal connections (tapping electricity without sub-meters).

Capus said that at least 40 percent of the APEC consumers are with aging or long unpaid arrears, a condition that is aggravating the financial status of the electric company.

He said that APEC has already apprehended 257 consumers with either tampered or unauthorized meters.

“We already filed cases in court against some of them. But we could not just file charges to those whose cases are involving tampered meters because only the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) could inspect and declare if an electric meter is tampered or not. So we have to wait for the ERC technical people to come to us,” Capus said.

He admitted though that despite these pressing concerns, APEC, under the new management, is able to pay its debts and is not remiss in paying taxes due to the government.

Capus said that they are doing periodic strategic planning in order to further improve APEC’s services and address its sagging financial condition.

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