Councilor and ex-secretary of health are targets of PF operation |

Serasa updated the data from the Default Map for the month of March, confirming that the largest slice of the debt pie in Acre is from the so-called “utilities”, overdue bills for water, electricity and other services.

The word is English and can be translated to ‘public utility services’. In other words: the elderly person from Acre owes a lot to banks, credit cards and in retail trade, but not as much as to the public service. Utilities account for 57% of the debt; cards, 12.60%; telecom, 5.70%; and retail, 14.60%.

In the Amazon, the people of Acre are only second to the people of Amapá in terms of utility defaults. In Amapá, 65.40% of the population owes water, electricity and other services.

Last March, the board of the Rio Branco Water Supply Service (Saerb) even stated that one of the most serious problems of management was in relation to default, which reached 50%. Therefore, collection actions would be intensified.

The report did not locate municipal managers to update the data. The State Water and Sanitation Service (Saneacre, formerly Depasa), compiled, exclusively for the ac24hours, data on billing and delinquency revealing that the hole fluctuated at high levels amid the pandemic in the capital and inland in 2021, before the reversal of the system in Rio Branco: in the past, R$74,389,675.08 were billed in water bills throughout the State of Acre – and only R$ 34,354,420.43 were collected. In other words: default, technically called in Saneacre ‘loss of revenue’, was, in general, at 53.82%. Only inland, defaulters are 60.73% of users.

“It is worth mentioning that only 40% of the water we produce is billed. Of this revenue, only between 30% and 40% enters as revenue. Default is gigantic and has increased in the pandemic”, said Jader Maia, director of Administration and Finance at Saneacre. The agency assesses making life difficult for defaulters but cutting off the supply, according to Maia, is not simple. A re-registration of users should shed some light on this struggle.

The default rate in 2021 is slightly lower than in 2020, when the rate reached 62.10%.

For its part, Energisa, another public service concessionaire, periodically carries out campaigns against default on the electricity bill.

Living dragging along with the shackles of default is not exclusive to Acre people, but it plagues Brazil in these difficult times. Published on May 16, a survey carried out by the National Confederation of Shopkeepers (CNDL) and the Credit Protection Service (SPC Brasil) estimates that four out of ten adult Brazilians (38.45%) were negative in April 2022 – the equivalent of 61.94 million people. In the last month, the volume of consumers with late accounts grew 5.59% in relation to the same period of the previous year.

Based on the data available in its database, which includes information on capitals and countryside of all 26 states of the federation, in addition to the Federal District, CNDL and SPC Brasil report that the annual variation observed in April of this year was below that observed in the last month. From March to April, the number of debtors grew by 0.46%.

With unemployment of more than 14% and the continuous loss of income, the worker in Acre increasingly finds himself at the crossroads of buying food or paying the bills.

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