The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), represented by Fr. Marlon Lacal, O. Carm, and Fr. Robert Reyes, together with other sectors of society led by the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) in a press conference last October 7 have united in a campaign against high electricity prices. They are now collectively calling upon the public to join the upcoming ‘Power-Off’ on 11 October 2011 at seven thirty until eight in the evening.
According to AMRSP, given that the people are his boss, the President must now undertake measures to remove from their painful shoulders this burden which was caused by the high power rates.
“It is unjust and immoral to pass onto the poor people the continuously increasing electricity rates since they were never responsible in incurring the debts of the National Power Corporation (NPC/Napocor). The ones who continue to cause these hardships and difficulties are the monopolist capitalists,” said Fr. Marlon Lacal, O. Carm of AMRSP.
“The Church cannot understand why these high power rates are being passed onto the people since the wages of the workers remain as low as before; likewise their benefits remain inadequate”, added Fr. Marlon.
On the other hand, Fr. Robert Reyes proposed the idea of a “Green Sabbath”. When God created the world in seven days, the last day was set aside to appreciate its beautiful creations. “I am proposing that we have one Saturday in a month to shut-off our lights and electricity, nobody will drive which consumes fuel or gas, we will stop going to the malls to buy and consume here. This is to show the dismay of the people and in some way cause the loss of earnings to the five giant businessmen who cause hardships to the people because they are reasons why the cost of electricity is so high–Aboitiz, Lopez, Cojuangco, Pangilinan and Sy. They are very greedy and all they want to do is to eat us all up in order to make 100% profits”.
The Church sector supports the calls to stop the anticipated power rate increase, to bring down these rates, to stop the privatization of the remaining contracts and plants owned by Napocor, and to junk the failed Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) because of the broken promises to bring down the price of electricity.