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Osmeña’s bias clearly pro-Meralco, investors

/ 12:02 AM April 01, 2014

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) voided its approval last December of the P4.15 per kilowatt-hour rate increase in generation charge that Manila Electric Co. sought. No doubt, Sen. Serge Osmeña III found the decision “very unacceptable” because, according to him, it was “good politics but bad economics” as the power plant investors will lose its trust in the government and we will have real shortages decades ahead (“P-Noy a poor manager—Serge,” Front Page, 3/14/14). Apparently, too,

Osmeña was mad that President Aquino did not heed his call to have Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla fired for being not focused on solving the power supply problem.

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We would like to assure the senator that for the 5.4 million Meralco consumers, the ERC decision came as a great relief from the unexplained, unjustifiable power rate increase. As the senator knows only too well (and this we assume with confidence), expensive electricity runs counter to one of the objectives of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira). We therefore thank the ERC for doing its mandate in this instance.

Section 62 of the Epira enumerates the functions of the Joint Congressional Power Commission, which happens to be cochaired by Senator Osmeña with Rep. Rey Umali. Not one of those functions vests the cochairs, jointly or individually, with the authority to advise or compel the President of the Philippines to fire his energy secretary. Neither is it the function of the cochairs to call an ERC

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decision that resulted in lower power rates “bad economics.”

What we find very clear is Senator Osmeña’s bias for Meralco and the power generators that have been adversely affected by the ERC decision. We also find presumptuous and arrogant his description of President Aquino and Secretary Petilla as “awful managers.”

—RONALD G. GOZUN,

[email protected]

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TAGS: Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), Energy Regulatory Commission, Epira, Jericho Petilla, Manila Electric Co., Serge Osmeña III
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