AROUND 300 members of Power for People Coalition (PPC) trooped to Meralco head office yesterday to protest yet another electricity hike from the distribution utility this February, coupled with its seven pending Power Supply Agreements with coal companies in the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), as part of their Kampanya para sa Malinis at Murang Kuryente (KMMK).
“Hindi ito ang klase ng ‘pagmamahal’ na nais natin mula sa Meralco bilang mga konsumer,” said Power for People Convenor and Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development Executive Director Gerry Arances. “The most recent price hike of 50 centavos per kWh is precisely because of the increasing generation costs largely owed to coal. This is a product of the questionable and costly deals entered into by Meralco in the past, and will continue for at least 20 years more if the 3.5 GW of coal in the 7 power supply agreements (PSAs) it has submitted with coal companies for the ERC’s approval get approved,” said Arances.
“The most recent Pulse Asia Survey has showed that the National Capital Region has the highest dissatisfaction rate among regions in the country as regards the high cost of electricity, with 84% of consumers rejecting the ridiculously high cost of electricity,” Arances noted. “This is because of several charges passed on to the consumers instead of being shouldered by the company, as well as the many questionable and costly deals Meralco has entered into with generation companies.”
“The ‘untouchable’ status of Meralco when it comes to their power to just raise power rates at the peoples’ expense is telling that many of our leaders in the government are in bed with this giant company,” said Leody De Guzman of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino. “It is time we made the members of Congress who grant their franchise, and the DOE and ERC who is supposedly protecting consumers to choose between Meralco or the People? Sila ba o kami?”