The Department of Energy on Wednesday alerted Filipinos of a possible surge in electricity rates in May due to increasing coal prices.

“Dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng coal, tumataas po ang presyo ng ating kuryente ngayon at ito’y mararamdaman ng ating mga mamamayan, ng ating mga consumers, by May,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a “Talk to the People” address of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Cusi said the country had coal supply in its inventory that was enough for 30 days.

“Dito naman po sa supply ng coal sa ating bansa, supisiyente po, 30 days na imbentaryo po ang mina-maintain natin,” Cusi said.

Cusi made the announcement amid consecutive oil price hikes that saw diesel increase by P30.65 per liter, gasoline by P20.35 per liter, and kerosene by 21.90 per liter since the beginning of 2022.

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has also announced a 9.65 centavo per kilowatt-hour increase in its charges this month.

Meralco’s price increase has yet to reflect the repercussions of the rising oil prices worldwide, Meralco utility economic head Lawrence Fernandez said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro