82 percent of Filipinos favor alternatives for electric service providers — survey

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 21) — A recent Pulse Asia survey showed 82 percent or eight of 10 Filipinos remain open to new options for their electric service providers and utilities.

The poll, conducted on June 15 to 21, also showed 60 percent of Filipinos are dissatisfied with the current electric prices in the country, while 89 percent voted positive for the use of renewable energy.

The results, presented by Pulse Asia research director Ana Maria Tabunda during a press conference Monday, displayed consistent ratings throughout the various regions.

National Capital Region (NCR) residents led the way as 88 percent voted in favor of new service providers, while Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were at 78 percent, 84 percent, and 83 percent, respectively.

The pollster also noted that the highest regional percentage of Filipinos wanting electric supply alternatives was at 94 percent in the Davao Region.

The survey used a sample of 1,800 Filipino adults — with a margin of error at two percent.

High prices, rural electrification

According to the Department of Energy's estimate, over 2.3 million Filipino households remain without electricity. The country also holds one of the highest rates when it comes to regular residential blackouts.

Energy Secretary Alfredo Cusi, since assuming his post in 2016, has pushed to bring electricity to remote areas and regions in the country.

Malacañang is also reportedly planning to release an executive order allowing competition in power distribution from private sector investors using new technologies. This is seen to lower costs and improve the quality of electric service.

The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), meanwhile, attributed the increase in electric prices and generation charges for the past two months to higher power supply agreements (PSA) charges.