March 13, 2017
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate,
Members of Bayan Muna today held a protest action in front of Congress as the investigation on the midnight deals between the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Meralco-affiliated generation companies is being conducted.
Bayan Muna Rep.Carlos Isagani Zarate also questioned the proposed Meralco power rate hike for February, March, April and even May supposedly due to oil price fluctuations and the Malampaya shutdown.
“What specific provision in the power supply agreements (PSAs) of Meralco with the generation companies would justify ‘capacity fee adjustments’? Is this a yearly adjustment? Or it is just an unfortunate incident that always coincides with Malampaya’s shutdown?” Rep. Zarate asked.
“Appallingly, while our poor people will be burdened once more with these price hikes, we are yet to be fully apprised on the results of the ERC investigation on the alleged collusion of generation companies and Meralco during the 2013 November-December Malampaya shutdown,” Rep. Zarate said. Rep. Zarate disclosed that that there may be further spikes in the prices of electricity for the coming months, citing among other factors, the increase in the interim maximum allowable revenue (iMAR) of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) from P41.653B to P43.789 billion that already resulted to a P0.15 per kWh increase in February billings and PSALM’s pending applications for universal charges on its stranded debts and stranded contract costs.
“There is really something fishy about these increases being floated recently. This is the main reason, among others, why we want to review, through House Resolution 566, the alleged "midnight" Power Supply Agreements (PSA) entered into by Meralco with its mostly related companies and investigate if there are unwarranted cost recoveries bundled there; we cannot just take their data at face value considering what happened during the 2013 Malampaya shutdown,” said the Davao-based solon.
“As it is, Meralco should stop conditioning the minds of consumers for power rate hikes. We are calling on the people to protest and stop these unwarranted power rate hikes,” ended Rep. Zarate.###