THE high cost of electricity and the poor condition of farmers and fishermen are concrete indication that the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) and Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) failed to serve its purpose and should be reviewed, according to senator-elect Cynthia Villar.
“I cannot understand why you have legislation that will not have any effect on people. You make legislation to help people. So you should see to it that these legislations are implemented because I find it useless to have too many legislations and yet no impact to the people,” Villar said in a statement.
AFMA or Republic Act 8435, was signed into law in by former President Fidel Ramos in 1997. The law aims to lift the plight of farmers and fishermen by ensuring food security, sustainable development, income profitability and improving global competitiveness.
“We are an agricultural country and majority of our people are involved in agriculture-related jobs and businesses. So I want to study and review why the implementation of AFMA seems slow,” Villar said.
As for the EPIRA law, the lawmaker said the purpose of Republic Act 9136 has not been achieved which is to lower the cost of electricity. She noted that the Philippines has the highest electricity rate in Asia.
The EPIRA law was signed by former President Gloria Arroyo in 2001.
“There are many laws that are not properly implemented. Maybe there is something wrong in them—either in the law itself or in the one implementing it. So we need to review and amend if necessary,” Villar said.