Samar, Laguna power co-ops fined for unremitted FIT-All collections

Meralco bills

Electric cooperatives in Samar and Laguna were fined P100,000 each due to failure to remit on time their collected feed-in tariff allowance (FIT-All) to funds administrator National Transmission Corp. (TransCo).

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) fined Samar I Electric Cooperative inc. (Samelco I) and First Laguna Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Fleco) for violating Sec. of ERC Resolution No. 24, Series of 2013, which adopted the guidelines on the collection of FIT-All and the disbursement of the FIT-All fund.

The ERC had issued a show-cause order to the two electric cooperatives after TransCo submitted a complaint dated April 20, 2015.

“The Commission finds the explanation of [Samelco I and Fleco] unmeritorious,” the ERC said in its decision dated May 8, 2018 and docketed earlier this month.

TransCo sent a letter to the ERC which prompted the commission to issue a show-cause order to all distribution utilities, including Samelco I and Fleco, for failure to comply with an order provisionally approving the collection of a FIT-All fee of P0.0406 per kilowatt-hour starting in the January 2015 billings of on-grid consumers.

Despite their efforts to reach out to collection agents for them to comply, the collection agents did not respond, TransCo said.

On September 29, 2015, the commission issued a show-cause order to both Samelco I and Flenco, directing them to submit within 15 days from receipt their explanation under oath on why no administrative penalty should be imposed on them, and/or criminal action against their directors and officers.

According to the electric cooperatives, they had started billing their customers but collections were remitted to the “universal charge-missionary” fund due to lack of guidance as to where remittance should be made.

ERC said the cooperatives’ reasons for not remitting its collections on time was not acceptable. It said the confusion involved only the earlier months of implementation, as well as the alleged “lack of guidance” as to where the remittance should be made “is not convincing reason for [them] to remit on time.”

“There are many ways to obtain this information had [the cooperatives] only been more resourceful,” the ERC said to BusinessWorld.

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