Stop power vampires from feeding on ‘blood electricity’
A DEPARTMENT of Energy circular mandates distribution utilities to undergo a “Competitive Selection Process” (title of circular) in securing power supply agreements. The goal is to prevent “single-owner” generation and distribution utilities from getting undue advantage in sweetheart deals with themselves (like vampire bats sucking consumers dry), a blatant conflict of interest that drives power rates sky-high. This is termed “blood electricity,” likened to “Blood Diamond” the movie. Such single-ownership should be banned by law.
Let the vampires remain in fantasy films.
The largest power distribution firm nationwide, Meralco, with its affiliate generation firms, will naturally oppose the circular so they can earn their blood electricity in the billions (pesos) in a move to maneuver against the law setting a 12-percent cap on profit margin.
I am appealing to Manuel V. Pangilinan and the Lopez Group, in behalf of the millions of consumers, to please be considerate and keep profits reasonable, and to keep away from monopolistic maneuvers, to avoid a possible huge class action suit. The Electricity Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), a supposedly antimonopoly law, was clandestinely manipulated and amended by powerful power interests to allow such monopolistic cross-ownership. Epira is so full of holes, it cannot hold water. This is one of the reasons the Philippines has the highest power rates in Asia, a result of the influence of a powerful corporate group. We have allowed this group to do this to us.
In behalf of consumers, I would also like to commend the DOE for its propeople strategies to keep electricity cost down and keep power monopoly at bay. You are in our good graces and we are in awe. May God bless you and your kind.
—BERNIE V. LOPEZ, campaign director, Consumer Initiative for Training and Advancement, [email protected]
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