- About Us
power consumers, ERC powerless with -Ilagan
Press Release Posted on February 8th, 2012.
Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan 0920-9213221 Jang Monte 0917-4049119
“Power consumers will remain at the mercy of Meralco for as long as the EPIRA remains. While Meralco will continue to arbitrarily impose power rate increases, the Aquino administration, through the ERC’s stamp-pad rate hike approvals and in its indifference towards any move in Congress to repeal the EPIRA is culprit to the added burden that poor Filipino households will have to bear.”
This is according to Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan as power distributor Meralco announced an 11-centavo per kwh increase in power rates.
“EPIRA provided the legal framework for the privatization of the National Power Corporation and deregulation of the power industry. More than ten years of EPIRA and no reforms were put in place to make electricity more affordable for poor Filipino households,” explained Ilagan.
Taking note of data from consumer group, POWER or People Opposed to Warrantless Electricity Rates, Ilagan said that average power rates charged to Meralco customers more than doubled during the period EPIRA was implemented. In 2000, the average rate was only P4.87/kWh but in 2010, the average rate reached P10.35/kWh.
Meralco rates for residential users rose by 112.5 % and those of the NPC went up by 86 % over the past ten years. In 2001, NPC had debts at $16.39 billion. By 2010, it continued to owe $15.8B (P713.64B) despite PSALM (Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management) shelling out $18B in 10 years to settle the NPC obligations.
The Gabriela solon likewise challenged President Aquino to make good on his promise to act on high electricity rates by prioritizing proposals in Congress to repeal EPIRA and the removal of VAT on electricity. Along with Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Kabataan and ACT Teachers, Gabriela Women’s Party is pushing for HB 1630 which exempts the Sale of Electricity by Generation, Transmission and Distribution Utilities from VAT. #