Consumer advocacy group asks ERC to stop Meralco rate hike
Kuryente.Org is challenging the Energy Regulatory Commission and chair Agnes Devanadera to decide on the petition of San Miguel-owned South Premiere Power Corp. (SPPC) and Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to amend their contract and impose a debilitating rate hike on consumers.
In 2019, SPPC won via competitive bidding its right to supply power to Meralco. In order to outbid its competition, particularly PHINMA Energy Corporation and other companies, San Miguel offered a fixed straight price with an allowable price escalation of not more than 3.5 percent annually.
With the current economic situation, foreign exchange rate, and world fuel prices, SPPC found its bid no longer profitable, so in May 2022, they asked Meralco to join them in asking ERC to change the rules of the contract to allow them to increase their rates beyond what they promised and what made them win in the 2019 competitive selection process.
The effective increase for consumers would be between 15 centavos and 50 centavos per kilowatt-hour, or an additional P100 monthly for an average household consuming 200 kilowatt-hour per month.
Meralco should not agree to this at all. Meralco should demand that SPPC deliver energy at the agreed price. The losing bidders like PHINMA Energy Corporation should not agree to this at all. The government should not agree to this at all. This is a big insult to the competitive selection process and to the republic—all to protect the profit of SPPC and its owners San Miguel.
We challenge Commissioners Marko Romeo Fuentes, Alexis Lumbatan, Catherine Maceda, and Floresinda G. Baldo-Digal—show us your votes on this matter at nang magka-alaman na.”
Nic Satur Jr.,
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.