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SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.

Anakpawis partylist says power rate hike shameless, scandalous

Filipino youth protesting utility price hikes and costs back in 2011 (photo by Bullit Marquez/AP).

Filipino youth protesting utility price hikes and costs back in 2011 (photo by Bullit Marquez/AP).

Anakpawis Partylist, a national democratic partylist representing workers and peasants in congress, is calling on the president to protect the poor from further price increases in power rates due to a recent decision by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC):

The militant partylist group Anakpawis on Wednesday described the looming increase in electricity cost by march as scandalous and shameless.

In a press statement, Anakpawis partylist vice chairperson Fernando Hicap said they will protest the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) decision allowing the government run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) to hike electricity cost by 19.38 centavos starting next month to collect P 53.58 B worth of stranded costs.

“The ERC is not doing its job to protect public interest. It is in grand connivance with the sitting presidency in Malacanang to keep power consumers miserable, exploited and pestered with high electricity cost 24 hours a day,” said Hicap.

For his part, Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France asserted that the Filipino public should be spared from paying P 53.58 B, which he said was a grand product of privatization, liberalization and deregulation policy in the power sector.

“The political and economic brains behind the Epira law, whether they are public or private or both should be held criminally liable.”

The burden of paying these stranded costs from 2007 to 2010 should be carried by private interests, industry key players and the National Power Corporation and should not be passed to the power consumers and taxpaying public,” the Pamalakaya official insisted.

“The least the President can do right now to ease the earthshaking impact of power rate hike is to indefinitely suspend the implementation of ERC decision. The best thing Malacanang can do to address this concern is to instruct Congress to repeal the Epira and focus on the nationalization of the power sector to make sure public interest is in the highest priority of the state,” they said.

The ERC maintained all electricity consumers are liable to pay this charge to their respective distribution utilities or to the grid operator for the directly connected customers, which in turn shall remit all their collections to PSALM.

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This entry was posted on February 20, 2013 by and tagged , , .

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