Palace open to amending Epira

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Malacañang is open to amending the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) of 2001, which has been blamed for skyrocketing power rates in the country.

In a press conference, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte admitted that the government is not allowed to run its own power plants because of the Epira.

But she said that the President has already directed all concerned agencies to find ways to bring down power costs.

“The Epira prevents government from being a power generator,” Valte said. “While you believe the executive [department]has so much perceived power, we are limited by what the law says. There is no magic wand to wave.”

“But it’s a cause of concern. The President has already given instructions to relevant agencies to see what they can do,” she added

Valte said that the Palace is now studying the bills on the issue that are presently pending in Congress.

She said that the government will also have to scrutinize various suggested solutions before it can get fully on board.

“We look at the stage they are in and we look at the meat of the proposal,” she said, adding these will be considered when the appropriate Cabinet clusters propose measures to be part of the priority list.

Meanwhile, Valte said that there are still no plans yet to convene the Legislative –Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac).

She noted that a Technical Working Group (TWG) that works under the Ledac meets continuously.

“Because of the good relationship that the President has with both leaders of Congress, nako-communicate naman iyong mga ganitong bagay [these are easily communicated],” she said

“Well, at least, for the President, it’s the good relationship that he has that ferries these bills through. Even last year, if you go by the numbers, we had a good number of substantial bills that were passed, at least the ones that have been identified as priority,” Valte added.

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3 Comments

  1. Ricardo Harina on

    Amending the Epira Law immediately will be the step in the right direction and the government is not helpless if it is doing is job well!

    Our Nation can never and will never attain the economic progress that Filipinos and Non-Corrupt government officials are dreaming or hoping for if our Nation’s economy is controlled by few greedy and crooked power providers and businessmen in collusion with corrupt government officials and corrupt elected representatives of the people.

    Our government with the cooperation of our Congress should sit together and plan for building State of the Art Combined Cycle Power Plants for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao that will provide enough and stable power, reduce the power rates, address environment concerns, attract and encourage foreign and local investors that will provide economic impetus, job and business opportunities that will prevent Filipinos seeking jobs abroad and encourage those working abroad miserably return back because they will see a better Philippines in the near future and alleviate the sufferings of poor Filipinos because of government’s failure to provide affordable and stable power to propel us to economic progress that we are still dreaming and hoping for.

    This is were we should put into better use the PDAF declared by the Supreme Court and putting up Elevated Water Pass along Pasig River that will mitigate flooding in Metro Manila during rainy season and can be use also as Express Way to lessen traffic problems in Metro Manila.

    If we can do this, Filipinos working together with a better and clean government may realize the dream they are hoping for in the near future and alleviate the sufferings of Filipino People most especially the poor.

    The government should act fast now to priorities these requirements mentioned above if they really want the Philippines attain REAL ECONOMIC PROGRESS AND HELP THE FILIPINO PEOPLE REALIZE WHAT THEY ARE DREAMING AND HOPING FOR IN THE NEAR FUTURE UNDER A BETTER AND CLEAN GOVERNMENT.

  2. I dont see any prohibition in the EPIRA for government to be a power generator. It merely mandated the privatization of the NAPOCOR power plants but it did not say that the government can no longer set up new power plants to be operated by a new goverment corporation other than NAPOCOR which was so mismanaged it was run to the ground by scoundrels who merely pocketed massive salaries and bonuses. To wait for congress to pass a law amending EPIRA before goverment acts on the power crisis is pure nonsense it is again just an excuse to not offend the greedy oligarchs now controlling both power generation and distribution at the same time.