6 July, 2022
KO demands ERC to stop Meralco from Raising Rates
Kuryente.Org is challenging the Energy Regulatory Commission and chairman Agnes Devanadera to decide on the petition of San Miguel-owned South Premiere Power Corp. and Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to amend their contract and impose a debilitating rate hike on consumers.
“We are demanding Chair Devanadera and the current commission to stop skirting around and decide on this matter so the consumers will see if this commission is really protecting the interest of the common tao. Suspending decision on this matter is just like putting a sword on all our necks, ready to chop us down when no one is looking,”
“We want to know once and for all if this commission, this new administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., will uphold the sanctity of the competitive selection process, or we will just allow this zarzuela of a bidding process to only satisfy the PR machinery of power conglomerates – only to be rescinded when it is no longer profitable.”
“Let us end the show and show our cards once and for all.”
It can be remembered that in 2019, SPPC won via competitive bidding its right to supply power to Meralco. In order to outbid its competition, particularly PHINMA and other companies, San Miguel offered a fixed straight price with an allowable price escalation of not more than 3.5 % 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 CSP bidding process.
Satur said the effective increase for consumers would be between 15 centavos to 50 centavos per kilowatt hour, or an additional 100 pesos to the monthly for an average household consuming 200 kwh 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.”
1. Nic Satur Jr., National Coordinator, Kuryente.Org
Nic Satur Jr.
Nic Satur Jr. is the National Coordinator of Kuryente.org, a consumer advocacy group focusing on energy issues. He can be reached through email@example.com.