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Electric Power Rates
05-07-2010 Protests vs high electricity rates continue at grassroots PDF Print E-mail

Press Release
May 7, 2010

Protests against high electricity rates continue at grassroots

pm power campaignDespite the announced reduction in Meralco rates for the month of May, protests against high electricity rates continue. The protests went to the grassroots today as consumers in Paranaque picketed a nearby Meralco branch.

A hundred residents from different Paranaque communities converged at the Tambo branch of Meralco for the protest. The consumers are calling for a bigger reduction in the household electricity rates and a refund of the P15 billion overcharging since 2003 as revealed by a COA audit. Neighborhood associations of Tucuma, Sta. Cecilia, Fatima, Purok 7 in Multinational Village, Wakas and Damayan participated in the picket.

“The fight for lower electricity bills continues. We want a larger decrease in Meralco’s charge. We also want a refund of the overbilling by Meralco,” declared Michelle Licudine, a leader of party-list group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) in Paranaque.

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05-06-2010 Protests continue despite Meralco’s rate reduction PDF Print E-mail

Press Release
May 6, 2010

Protests continue despite Meralco’s P1.26/kwh reduction in generation charge

pm power campaignThe labor partylist group, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and the Freedom from Debt Coalition proceeded with their planned mass action today against power rate hikes despite Meralco’s announcement that it is cutting its rate by P1.26/kwh beginning this month.

“Meralco’s announcement may have been prepared to diffuse the rapid buildup of protest against its unjust rates,” said PM spokesman Wilson Fortaleza, referring to the growing outbursts against power rate hikes that now even reaches the cyberspace prior to the announcement.

Fortaleza said that despite the announced rate cut, more mass protests should be launched against Meralco and other utilities in the face of the failed regulatory functions by the government and the power firms’ insatiable greed for profit.

“Meralco is a regulated utility. But when regulation fails to protect consumers from corporate greed and repeated abuse, street protests become the necessary option for the hapless consumers,” explained Fortaleza.

Meralco’s rate surged to the highest level this month due to tight supply and the hikes in the price of electricity traded at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). According to Meralco, its IPPs which provide more than half of Meralco’s requirements were forced to shutdown their operations last month due to routine maintenance at the Malampaya gas field, forcing them to source power at WESM but for more than what is required of them, which is limited to only 10%.

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03-01-2010 Emergency power not the answer to policy-borne problems in the power industry PDF Print E-mail

Press Release
March 1, 2010

Emergency power not the answer to policy-borne problems in the power industry

pm power campaignHad the government kept hold of and not consigned the duty of providing energy for our future to the private sector then we do not have to worry about power failures repeatedly hounding the nation, according to the labor party-list group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

PM Chair Renato Magtubo, said giving President Arroyo another emergency power is no guarantee that policy-borne problems in the power industry can be addressed.

“Before everything dries up on energy chief Angelo Reyes, let he be reminded first that this emergency power he wanted bestowed on President Arroyo is the same power granted to his former boss Fidel Ramos by Congress to address not just the Mindanao problem but the entire power crisis that engulfed the country in the late 80’s and early 90’s.   And while that emergency power enabled Ramos to add new capacities in the system, the consequence of high power rates due to anomalous contracts with private independent power producers (IPPs) bound the people into paying high PPA charges,” explained Magtubo.

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