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Rural utilities start meter reading for May bills

POWER UTILITIES in the countryside have returned to using actual meter readings for computing their customers’ bills for May, their industry association said.

Power sector ordered to designate quarantine areas for infected workers

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said the power sector will be required to set aside quarantine areas in the event its personnel are suspected of being infected by the coronavirus, in order to minimize disruption to the operations of the essential industry.

Lockdown-hit power firms seek relief

THE Philippine power sector is seeking a little breathing space in fulfilling certain obligations in supply contracts, as well as the removal of some charges that are passed on to consumers, as strict quarantine measures negatively impacted its finances.

Buskowitz powers farms with solar units

RENEWABLES enterprise Buskowitz Energy has powered three poultry farms with rooftop solar installations, bringing down their carbon emissions and electricity costs.

Power consumers allowed staggered bill payments

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has ordered power distribution utilities to allow some of their customers to pay up to six portions of their electricity bills every month from mid-June.

JFC allots P7B for business shake-up

JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) will be spending P7 billion for its rationalization efforts across its businesses worldwide in 2020, including its move to bolster digital capacity, as it grapples with the impact of the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

SEC says KAPA fraud case still active

KAPA-COMMUNITY Ministry International (KAPA) is still facing fraud charges for committing one of the country’s biggest investment scam, while a cease-and-desist order against the group remains active, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Friday.

Murang Kuryente subsidy to take effect next year

THE Power Sector Assets & Liabilities Management Corp.(PSALM) said the government’s subsidy for some universal charges will take effect next year, removing some of the cost from electricity bills.

Meralco to refund ‘convenience’ fee

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) is returning the additional tariff paid for by customers who settled their bills via its online app during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period, as the company will shoulder these fees charged by its service providers.

PXP Energy reports loss as oil output declines

PXP Energy Corp. incurred a consolidated net loss of P40.4 million in the first quarter, compared to P7 million it earned in the same period in 2019, as oil revenues fell with output in its Palawan well declining.

PSALM wins approval to seek P43-B loan from DBP

THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp. has won approval to seek a P43-billion loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), saying that despite “setbacks” encountered during quarantine, it does not expect to default on any of its obligations.

ERC asked to order refund of Meralco bills for May

A CONSUMER group on Wednesday asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to ask Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to return to customers their payments for May bills, as well as to halt its billings during the period of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

No billing issues in homes using smart readers

A SOLAR company reported that no complaints on electricity billings were raised from some households under a micro-grid system in Bulacan during the lockdown period as many power consumers in Luzon were shocked with their increased electricity charges this month.

Nuclear policy approval stalls during crisis

THE approval of a proposed policy pushing for nuclear energy has been relegated to a lower priority as the government focuses on containing the public health and economic fallout from the pandemic, officials said.

Nationwide round-up

DoH: Test kits enough, but not other supplies and logistics for labs THE Department of Health (DoH) said the country has sufficient testing kits for...

Meralco says billings complied with rules

PRESSED with mounting complaints about the apparent surge in its present electricity charges, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said it has “strictly” followed government regulations on computing its customers’ bills.

First Gen income down as power demand slips

FIRST GEN Corp. posted a 15% decline in net income attributable to equity holders to $65 million in the first quarter, brought down by lower electricity demand during the Luzon-wide lockdown starting in mid-March.

S&P affirms Meralco’s investment-grade rating

S&P Global Ratings has affirmed its BBB- investment-grade credit rating for Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) with a stable outlook as the listed firm takes on the impact of lower energy sales in 2020 and the delay in resetting its tariff regime.

ERC to Meralco: explain high power bills

SWAMPED with complaints, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Monday ordered Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to explain its calculation for its past customers’ monthly billings from March to May.

SEC orders shutdown of outsourcing firm CROWD1

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered the shutdown of CROWD1 Asia Pacific, Inc. for operating a “fraudulent investment scheme.”

Biogas project of MPIC unit, Dole receives Japanese gov’t subsidy

A waste-to-energy project by a unit of Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) with Dole Philippines, Inc. received the first tranche of subsidy, which is up to 50% of its qualified capital cost, from the Japanese government.

DoE says petroleum strategic reserve still a priority

A PROGRAM establishing a strategic petroleum reserve remains a priority, with regulations being prepared and a feasibility study by the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) under way, the Department of Energy said.

Quarantine grace periods weaken power firms’ finances as demand picks up

THE quarantine grace periods on electricity bills have weakened the power industry’s finances even with power demand surging in the residential segment and as usage normalizes with lockdowns easing, an industry association said.

Meralco says meter readings for May bills ‘accurate’

AMID mounting concerns by customers on increased electricity bills for May, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said its meter readings remain accurate and transparent.

ABS-CBN says shutdown to ‘significantly impact’ revenues

ABS-CBN Corp. on Friday said the shutdown of its free-to-air television and radio operations “will significantly impact” the company’s media, networks, and studio Entertainment (MNSE) operations which generate billions of pesos in annual revenues.

NLEX, ALI unit start rapid COVID-19 testing for employees

NLEX Corp. and Ayala Property Management Corp. (AMPC) have started conducting rapid testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for employees as Metro Manila shifts to a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) on Saturday.

Phoenix unit to start selling US-made gensets

A UNIT of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. will start selling gas-powered generator set (genset) units, targeting companies in hospitality and manufacturing sectors.

DMCI Holdings income plunges 78%

CONSUNJI-LED DMCI Holdings, Inc. recorded a huge profit fall in the first quarter, citing low market prices and the impact of the government’s quarantine measures to arrest the spread of the global pandemic since the latter half of March.

Energy department proposes fuel discounts to aid agricultural sector

THE Department of Energy has proposed fuel discounts or subsidies for the agriculture sector to help it achieve food security for the Philippines.

AC Energy unit turns profitable as power sales jump

THE Philippine unit of Ayala-led AC Energy, Inc. saw its attributable income in the first quarter went up to P306.94 million, compared to a loss of P145.27 million in the same quarter in 2019, on the back of after-tax income growth with a spike in electricity sales revenue.

Phoenix starts fuel delivery to small firms

PHOENIX Petroleum Philippines, Inc. (Phoenix) started delivering its fuel products directly to small and medium enterprises as part of its business adjustment during the global pandemic.

Pilipinas Shell reports losses as demand falls

PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp. posted a P5.55-billion net loss in the first quarter as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic led to a collapse in global oil prices, along with falling oil demand.

New oil import tariffs expected to raise P6.78 billion

THE government could raise P6.78 billion in 2020 from oil import tariffs imposed to help fund the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) containment effort, the Department of Energy (DoE) said Wednesday.

Keppel Philippines attributable income slips 3.1%

THE Philippine unit of Singapore-based Keppel Corp. Ltd. reported a 3.1% decrease in its first-quarter attributable income to P6.01 million, while its after-tax income slightly grew with the increase in equity share of its investment in a property leasing firm in Zambales.

Nationwide round-up

AROUND a million Filipinos are seen to take part in the government’s plan to decongest the capital within the next six months.

SMPC income falls as coal output declines

CONSUNJI-LED Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) posted a 43% drop in net income after tax to P1.2 billion in the first quarter as its coal business saw declines in production and export sales.

No counterbids received for West Philippine Sea oil exploration blocks

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said no counterbids were received for three oil exploration blocks in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Power cooperatives donate P12M to customers as lockdown subsidy

AN association of electric cooperatives pledged to donate P12.1 million to power utilities operating in the countryside for their electricity subsidies program in aid of poor customers affected by lockdown measures to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

PSALM extends grace period for bill payments in areas under ECQ

THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) has extended the deadline for dues and obligations owed by its power customers, as well as Universal Charges collecting entities and independent power producer administrators (IPPAs), operating in areas where the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is in force.

SEC flags ‘Bayanihan’ and other unregistered schemes

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the public anew of groups peddling shady investments without authorization from the government.

Metro Manila electricity bills to go down in May

ELECTRICITY rates in Metro Manila are likely to go down this month, with typical households getting at least a P50 cut in their bills, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said on Friday.

Air quality improves amid metro lockdown

AIR QUALITY in the Philippine capital, Manila and nearby cities improved substantially after the main island of Luzon was locked down beginning March 17 to contain a novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a research group.

Pressure mounts for businesses to resume at least digital operations

All businesses, including those classified as non-essential, should be allowed to resume operations even if only via online platforms, the former head of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) said.

ICTSI net income plunges 18%

RAZON-LED International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) saw its net income attributable to equity holders drop by 18% to $59.6 million in the first quarter due to lower operating income, increase in concession interest, and pandemic-related expenses.

Philippines tops economies for women in workplaces

THE Philippines topped 50 economies in having fairly represented women in workplaces last year, Mastercard said in its latest study on women’s advancement in business.