• Palace backs fight vs. power rate hike

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    Malacañang said it is the “legal right” of consumer and militant groups to go to the court to stop the P4.15 rate hike implemented recently by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

    Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said power consumers have the right to seek redress in court.

    “To take the case to court is their legal right and strategy. They are free to do that. As for the Executive, the President has given instructions to Secretary [Jericho] Petilla to map out ways on how to cushion the impact of the increase,” Valte told Radyo ng Bayan.

    Sen. Francis Escudero earlier said he and other groups are considering filing a petition to stop the power rate hike, will be spread over three tranches, the first to be reflected in consumers’ bills this month.

    Escudero said the unprecedented increase was an abuse of the automatic increase provision the Energy Regulation Commission (ERC) granted to Meralco.

    “Meralco cannot justify its increase with the generation cost rationale.
    If they are too quick to impose a price hike, they must also be this quick or quicker to refund the consumers and give us our rebates in the shortest period of time. It should be quid pro quo,” he said.

    Meralco attributed the rate hike to the simultaneous shutdown of several power plants.

    The Department of Energy is investigating if there was collusion among power producers because nine plants shut down simultaneously while the Malampaya plant was undergoing maintenance repair.

    DOE Undersecretary Raul Aguilos raised the possibility of a collusion when he appeared before the House Committee on Energy.

    Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said the effect of the plants’ shutdown was minimal.

    Petilla’s remark drew an angry retort from Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate.

    “The statement of Secretary Petilla is tantamount to saying that it is all right to have a cartel in the power sector and we just have to bear the burden when they collude to increase power rates. Instead of defending the interest of consumers the DOE is more active in protecting the profits of power producers and Meralco, a behemoth in the power industry and one of the country’s top corporations,” Zarate said.

    Alliance of Concerned Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio sees collusion in the fact that the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market sells electricity at a bid cap of P62 per kilowatt-hour even during periods when demand is low, such as Sundays and holidays.

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    8 Comments

    1. Ganito lagi ang mga Pilipino. kahit harap-harapan at garapalan na pang-aabuso at pagsasamantala ng mga kinauukulan at mga naghaharing uring capitalista ay walang magawa kundi diskusyon, deabte sa kongresp, media relases at interviews pero sa katapusan wala rin naman magawa upang ipaglaban ang nais nila para prteksyon ang mga ordinaryong consumers. KAYA TIGIL NA MGA SALITAAN AT USAPAN, KAILANGA ANG PAGKILOS NG BUONG SAMBAYANAN. KUNG WALANG KIKILOS SINO KIKILOS !!!

    2. hindi nyo ba alam na kailangan ng mga elite na ito para sa pamumuhunan nila sa PPP na pakana ni pnoy kaya kailangan nila magtaas ng singil sa kiryente di bale kung hindi kayo papayagnkukunin na lang nila thru your taxes by means of subsidy gy pnoy govt.

      either way luto parin kayo sa sarili nuong mantika kailangan kasi ang pera sa PPP para magkamal ulit ng salapi hehehe

    3. Freedom of expression and fighting for excessive business profiteering is not good but must be put to perspective, let’s make a reasonable profit, but huge is unacceptable. That’s too much burden with all what is going on to our country.

    4. Let us not play joke with each other – COLLUSION has been going on since the privatization and deregulation of the electric generation business was implemented. Ask yourself why up to now and in the foreseeable future that power supply and transmission of the same in the country will remain inadequate. Why? Because there is BIG Money to be made through COLLUSION!

    5. The alter egos (mouth pieces)of Pnoy in the DOE, ERC and WESM boards have willingly approved the 40% price hike of Meralco so what is Malacanan ululating that it is the right of the public to sue. In plain language it is the Sitting President who approves the 40% price hike in the same manner that it is Gloria who approves the public punishing 12% VAT with Ralph Recto as the alalay.

    6. Populist statements mean nothing. Abnoy will never side with the citizens vs big business: MVP, Lopez et al. Only reason he can stay in power now is because of the support of these people. DOE walang nagawa, at walang magagawa. Puro lang hearings, press releases.

    7. The title “Palace backs fight vs. power rate hike” is misleading because the palace only stated about the right of consumers and militants to seek redress in court. The government even backed the power producers with Energy Secretary Petilla saying the effect of the plants’ shutdown was minimal. As I understand, government officials are supposed to protect the interests of the people but as it turns out, this government protects the money making schemes of big businessmen, KKK and party mates. We all know that Manny Pangilinan is involved with Meralco, TV5, Maynilad (which passed on their corporate tax to consumers), etc. so even a lot of media people are afraid to mention items in their column. If Petilla cannot do his job, he should resign. The timing of the shutdowns leads to collusion and guilty parties should be prosecuted accordingly.

      • santiago caisido on

        I agree with you this all lip service of malacanan only for press release. I bet my one centavo nothing will happen in the end bahala tayo sa buhay natin.