Meralco said Thursday it would hike power rates in March, adding to the burden of consumers who had faced weeks of oil price increases due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
The Philippines' largest power distributor said it would implement a P0.0625 increase per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to P9.6467 per kWh this March, citing the higher cost of buying electricity.
This is equivalent to a bill increase of around P13 for a typical household consuming 200 kWh.
Meralco added that the lower value of the Philippine peso again the U.S. dollar also contributed to the rate increase since the cost of buying electricity is priced in the American currency.
The power rate hike is Meralco's first for the year after it lowered power rates for two consecutive months and comes as consumers struggled with rising oil prices.
Pump prices this week jumped by P5.85 per liter for diesel and P3.60 for gasoline, bringing the per liter price to P70. The Department of Energy warned that price hikes are expected to continue in the coming weeks.