Dominican Republic’s President revokes electricity rate increase

The Superintendent of Electricity Eduardo Quincoces told Santo Domingo journalists yesterday, Monday 2 September, that the electricity tariffs would not go up in September as had been announced the previous day. The Superintendence had announced a leveling of the BTS1 residential and BTS2 commercial rates.

{FILE IMAGE} Quincoces said that the President had seen how public opinion had reacted badly to the proposed increase so it will therefore continue at the same rate as it was in August. The Superintendent had defended the rate increase at a press conference before it was revoked.

{FILE IMAGE} Quincoces said that the President had seen how public opinion had reacted badly to the proposed increase so it will therefore continue at the same rate as it was in August. The Superintendent had defended the rate increase at a press conference before it was revoked.

Quincoces denied claims that the Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE) executive vice president Ruben Jimenez Bichara had not been informed of the increase.

The Administrative Minister for the Presidency Jose Ramon Peralta later said that the increase had not been fully discussed with the President beforehand. He said that he had been told that unifying the rate for the commercial and residential sectors would not result in a price increase, hence the reason for his phone call revoking the increase.

In defending the increase, the Superintendent had warned that electricity rates have now been frozen for 20 months and that if the rate were to reflect the true increase in costs it should be increased by 50% and not the 1% to 4.2% that had been announced.

In an editorial today, Tuesday 3 September, El Dia says that what should cause most concern is that the announcement of the rate followed by the revocation reveals a lack of a defined government policy on electricity. The editorialist says that there is a basic structural problem that will only be solved if all the stakeholders put their cards on the table and priority is given to the national interest. The editorialist called for the discussion of the electricity pact as set out in the National Development Strategy Law.

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