Power Philippines – Consumers tear electric bills, call for lower power rates

 

Re-enacting the tearing of the cedulas in the Cry of Balintawak during the Spanish colonial period, electric consumers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao tore apart electric bills on Tuesday as part of a call for power players to lower their rates.

Together with consumer group Kuryente.org, they have also called on the next administration to prioritize “lowering exorbitant electricity prices” and put an end to “unfair charges” from energy companies. 

“We are now at a turning point in our history as we prepare to elect our new leaders. We are calling for them to make a commitment to put an end to high electricity costs and lack of transparency and accountability in the energy sector,” said Kuryente.org national coordinator Nic Satur, Jr.

The group called for consumer representation in the energy sector which it believes will “alleviate consumers from the burden of high electricity costs,” as well as the creation of a “more transparent and accountable energy sector that promotes consumer participation in all levels of key government decision making.” 

Electric cooperatives are currently represented in Congress through the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives and the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association partylists, which are both seeking re-election on May 9.

Kuryente.org, together with consumer groups drafted a People’s Electoral Agenda for candidates to signify their commitment to lowering costs of electricity, transparency and accountability in the energy sector, and consumer participation on energy issues once they are seated in office. The group is pushing to get as many candidates’ signatures for the document.

On Monday, the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) announced a Php 0.5363 per kilowatt-hour increase in its April 2022 bill due to higher generation costs from independent power producers and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market. 

Before that, power generation companies warned that electricity rates may rise due to the continuous rise of international coal prices.  

 

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