Tag Archives: Energy

[Press Release] Current government to blame for energy crisis! -PMCJ

Current government to blame for energy crisis!

Recently, during the briefing on the proposed 2015 national budget, Cabinet officials placed the blame upon the Supreme Court for the looming power crisis saying that had the high court not issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Redondo power plant project, the problem of a possible power shortage would not exist.


In August 2012, the Supreme Court, in a decision on the petition filed by residents of Bataan and Zambales along with other civil society organizations issued a Writ of Kalikasan against Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. (RP Energy). The Writ prevented the company from constructing a 600 MW coal-fired power plant within the Subic Bay Metropolitan Area which would have been online by 2014.

Earlier this year, the Department of Energy (DOE) through the Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla also said that they want “a bill which would fast-track the processing of permits and, if possible, no TRO against [energy] projects.”
The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) asserts that there is nobody else to blame other than the current administration for the current state of energy.

“Throwing the blame at the SC will not absolve the government of its culpability,” says Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of PMCJ. “The decision of the SC merely reflected the will of the people that are against coal. The writ was reflective of the people’s stand against this government’s push for increased dependence on coal.”

Under the Aquino administration, permits granted to coal mining projects have doubled, from 39 coal operating contracts (COCs) in 2007 to 71 COCs in 2013. The number of approved coal plants has increased in the same period. In addition to 17 coal plants (with 28 boilers) with a total of 5506.2 MW capacity are currently operational across the country, 25 more coal plants (with 45 boilers) of up to 9,054 MW capacity have been approved as of mid-2014 (committed and indicative) and railroaded for final construction by 2020. This is up from 17 coal plants (with 29 boilers) with 4,584 MW approved in less than a year ago. This is in addition to another 12 more coal plants with 2,480 MW capacity proposed in the same year.

“From the very start, the Power Development Planning of the government was already flawed. It failed to provide the people a meaningful participation in the decision-making. It did not provide a mechanism that would give the people an avenue to confront the government in the event that the people felt that their choices are not reflected in government decisions.” Arances added.

PMCJ believes that the act of throwing the blame onto the judiciary is part of the grand design of the administration to circumvent democratic processes, to disempower the will of the people, and to discredit legal measures to accommodate the choice of the people. This crusade is led by none other than Secretary Petilla, supported fully by President Aquino himself, to prepare the way for the exercise of emergency powers.

The government should apply the lessons it learned at the DOE- sponsored Panay Multi-Sectoral Development Planning (MSPDP) process in 2004. The MSPDP was initially created to address the power crisis and growing concerns on the environmental impacts of power plants which resulted to a transparent process designed to provide people’s participation in the industry’s priority-setting process. The Panay MSPDP must be replicated as it was efficient in demonstrating that a grassroots process can have the technical rigor practiced by the corporate sector or the state in energy management.

Furthermore, considering that RE Law have been in effect since 2008 and the negotiations on the RP Energy project began in 2011, the government already had 3 years to perform its mandate to allow the increase of RE share in generating capacity. Had the government been diligent in pushing coal and enforcing the RE Law, that puts RE as a preferred energy choice. The energy supply in Luzon would have been sustained without the Redondo coal plant. In its own study and RE program, the DOE puts the RE potential of the country at a high level. Even without solar power, the country has 200,000 MW of potential renewable energy sources.

“The people must not be deprived of their right to participate in government affairs and their preferred choice of accessible and affordable clean, renewable energy ,” Arances concluded.


The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) is a grassroots-based movement consisting of basic sectors, grassroots communities and other organizations. We are campaigning for national climate justice campaigns on on energy, adaptation/rehabilitation after Typhoon Yolanda and other issues on climate change.

Kathryn Leuch, PMCJ Energy Policy and Communications Campaigner
0936 967 8341

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[Event] National Conference on Peoples Energy -PMCJ

National Conference on Peoples Energy

8 x 12 ft blue small

November 4-6, 2013, Balay Kalinaw Hall, University of the Philippines – Diliman, Quezon City
Convened by Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
In cooperation with Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) is a national coalition of 103 national and local organizations, national networks, peoples organizations, community organizations and NGOs currently doing work in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon Region, Quezon, Laguna, Samar, Leyte, Catanduanes, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros, Misamis Occidental, CARAGA region, Bukidnon, Zamboanga del Sur, SOCSARGEN Region, and Davao, .


Since its inception in 2009, PMCJ has been actively working on developing a national climate justice movement in the country. One of its aims is to build strong campaign centers and chapters in strategic regions across the country, to develop and escalate local, regional and national concerted actions on many climate related issues and key political moments in the country.

PMCJ’s work on addressing and contributing in solving the climate crisis requires a strategic shift in the balance of power, a comprehensive transformation of societies at all levels – local, national and global – and along the way winning urgently needed immediate and medium term victories that contribute in the overall goal of preventing catastrophic climate change.

A key element of its work is building strong national campaigns on transforming energy systems, as well as contributing in the regional (Asia Pacific) and international levels.

In 2010, PMCJ as a national coalition, started working on energy issues in the country. This year, PMCJ have focused on coal (mining and combustion), along with its alternatives, and launched its national campaign “Resist Coal! RE-Energize All!” to contribute in the fight against a particular dirty and harmful energy that the current government and coal corporations have been pushing heavily. Under this campaign, PMCJ last October 22, 2013 successfully organized a nationally coordinated action against coal and shift to renewable energy in 15 coal sites of struggles in 13 provinces across the country.

This year, PMCJ is also convening a national energy conference that aims to take stock of the current overall energy situation in the country and the government’s energy program and policies, and build consensus around a comprehensive Platform on Energy in light of:

1. Peoples’ right to universal access to energy and the obstacles to the fulfillment of this right
2. Issues and problems posed by dirty and harmful energy policies and projects
3. The urgent need to shift as quickly as possible democratic, equitable, renewable, clean and universally accessible Philippine energy system for people and communities
4. Facing the challenge of the climate crisis

The Conference is part of a collective effort to build and strengthen a Philippine movement resisting dirty and harmful energy, promoting peoples and community energy alternative systems, and linking energy campaigns to campaigns for climate justice.

Objectives of the Conference

The over-all goal is to lay the grounds for more intensive, larger scale and scope, coordinated and joint campaigning on energy in the country.

More specifically, the Conference will be an occasion for participants:
1. Gain an overview, exchange analyses and deepen collective understanding of the situation, critical trends and challenges in the energy sector in the Philippines; Examine the issues in the light of the climate crisis and the challenge of shifting to low-carbon, climate resilient, equitable and democratic development pathways and societies;
2. Take stock of ongoing local, national, including regional and global campaigns on energy ( against dirty and harmful energy; for peoples access to energy; for democratic governance of energy systems);
3. Build on existing unities and further develop a common comprehensive platform on Energy in the country, that also clearly addresses the climate crisis and is part of a broader Climate Justice platform;
4. Start developing a common action plan and mechanisms for pursuing coordination and collective actions
5. Put together movements and organizations who can serve as the active core that will drive and animate the process forward, reach out to others for broader, more inclusive convergences and collaboration in 2014 and beyond.

Conference Participants

The conference aims to gather about 50-60 representatives and leaders from PMCJ member organizations and allied organizations and networks working on energy issues from the different parts of the country.

Dates and Venue

The Conference proper will be held on November 4 to 6 at Balay Kalinaw Conference Hall, University of the Philippines – Diliman, Quezon City.

Resource Persons and Guests

Most of the resource persons will be coming from PMCJ, FDC and other allied organizations and institutions who have been working on energy for the past years in the country and who can also help update participants on national efforts and serve as resource persons on some of the topics.

Follow PMCJ @ https://www.facebook.com/ClimateJusticePH

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[Press Release] Climate activists expose risks of dirty coal, demand shift to clean, renewable energy -PMCJ

Climate activists expose risks of dirty coal, demand shift to clean, renewable energy


pmcj logo300-strong climate activists and anti-coal advocates stormed the Department of Energy to voice out their opposition to coal mines and coal-fired power plants promoted by the government and to launch the group’s Campaign Against Dirty Energy and for People’s Access to Safe, Renewable and Democratic Energy Alternatives.

This is in celebration of Earth Day and the group’s National Day of Action against Coal.

Led by the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), the groups brought body bags, gas masks and paper-made Philippine Cockatoos wearing masks to avoid the pollution from coal and highlighted how coal damages not only the environment and biodiversity but our lives, literally taking lives -, thus, the statement: COAL KILLS.

COAL KILLS—Why is coal dirty, toxic

Gerry Arances, national coordinator of PMCJ explained: “The promotion of coal as a major source of energy of Filipino communities is not the right solution to the alleged power crisis in several parts of the country. First of all, coal emits a large amount of heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic – contaminating our waters; generates 500 tons of small airborne particles which cause asthma, bronchitis, and aggravate heart disease; coal ash disposal poses a very high risk of causing cancer to those exposed.

Second, coal plant emissions in surrounding areas kill the livelihoods of host communities as the studies in coal plants in Masinloc, Zambales, and Naga, Cebu, among others, have clearly shown.

Third, coal burning is the major cause of global warming and further promoting it will aggravate the climate crisis that we are facing now. This I believe is a greater damage to the present and future generations who will have to suffer the intensified impacts of climate change.“

RESIST COAL—Increasing local opposition to coal

Two of the major proposed projects now include the coal plants in Cebu and Palawan.

In Cebu, ash samples tested from a coal plants in Naga, Cebu, revealed presence of heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic (carcinogen),both hazardous substances. Despite this, more projects are still underway. Naga is home to two coal plants.

“Health records in Naga for 2009-2012 reveal cancer as one if not the leading cause of mortality incidence in the area. Though could not be directly linked to the coal plant operations, that its incidence in Naga is higher than national averages should be sufficient basis for alarm. While we debate as to whether or not coal is the culprit for the deaths, cancer-related deaths in the area continue to rise,” said Atty. Aaron Pedrosa of Sanlakas.

“The same could be said of communities in Toledo City, Cebu where another coal plant operates. But instead of addressing the health concerns and conducting a probe into the situation, the government intends to put up another plant in the province”, Pedrosa added.

Cancer is among the many diseases that could be attributed to continued exposure to coal combustion wastes

Also threatened by coal projects is our Last Frontier, Palawan—where a 15MW coal-fired power plant project is being proposed to respond to a projected looming power shortage in the province. Environmentalists and conservationists in the province are strongly opposing as the plant is to be set up 1.5-kilometers away from Rasa Island, home to the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo.

Katherine Leuch of Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy asserts that “The superficial cheapness of coal should not be the only consideration for allowing a coal-fired power plant in Palawan because the risks of such far outweighs the benefits given that Palawan is an ecologically rich and sensitive province. The negative effect of coal is as dark as it is.

What is saddening is that based on our study the projected power shortage is unfounded. It is mainly due to distribution problems and not because of the existing supply. Palawan can also provide cleaner and safer alternatives like mini hydro, and other renewable energy sources.”

RE-ENERGIZE ALL—Shift to REnewable, sustainable energy for all Filipino communities

The Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2008-2030 reveals that coal production will continue to escalate. From 39 coal operating contracts (COCs) in 2007, there are now 76 COCs—16 of which were awarded -– last February by the government.

Arances concluded: “The PEPs massive promotion of coal-based power is alarming and is a major cause of concern for our fragile ecosystem and the Philippine population. – Coal is far from the best or even good solution to our power crisis.

Studies show that the country’s potential renewable energy can provide as high as more than 200,000 MW even without tapping solar power. It is about time that we look at this and do away with large-scale, dirty and environmentally-destructive projects.

If the government is as serious about using renewable energy as it claims, it had best do away with contradictory policies. Government needs to revise its Philippine Energy Plan to ensure that vulnerable communities stop suffering from the harmful effects of coal; start investing in RE sources to make clean power accessible and affordable to our people.”

Local actions against coal

Anti-coal groups in host communities also led different information-awareness campaign activities locally, including Cebu City, Davao City, General Santos City, Palawan, Bataan, Leyte, and Quezon.

In Cebu, around 100 activists dumped coal on a life-size map of the Philippines symbolizing the government’s rabid promotion of carbon-intensive technology and activities treating its adverse effects on the community’s health, ecosystem and livelihoods as collateral damage.

Last Sunday, April 21, Suportado Movement and PMCJ also organized a Bike Tour para sa Abot Kayang REnewable Energy in Marikina, also in celebration of Earth Day.

In Palawan, advocates from Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) installed streamers and COAL KILLS posters around Puerto Princesa, while in Panacan, Narra, Palawan several dirty coal educational activities were held Members of PACE also campaigned via local radio and a local forum the call against coal and opposition to the proposed coal plant in Narra, Palawan.


The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) is a broad movement consisting of 103 national networks/alliances and local organizations representing basic sectors, grassroots communities, the marginalized and most vulnerable, including women, indigenous peoples, fisher folk and coastal communities, farmers and rural communities, forest communities, formal and informal workers, environmental groups, urban poor, and others in the Philippines that aims to lead the joint struggles, campaigns and actions in putting forward the climate justice framework as a fundamental element of solving the climate crisis.
For more information:
Gerry Arances, PMCJ Coordinator, <gerry.arances@gmail.com> 0932-8778578

Khevin Yu, PMCJ Campaign Staff <khevinyu@gmail.com> 0917-5213356

April 22, 2013

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[Blog/from the web] Electric power consumers coalition bares root cause of Mindanao brownouts -www.cityofwaterfalls-iligancity.com

Electric power consumers coalition bares root cause of Mindanao brownouts

By: Dave Tauli
Mindanao Coalition of Power Consumers
April 3, 2012

SENATOR Sergio Osmeña III is barking up the wrong tree, and has the facts wrong on the Mindanao crisis. This is a big problem for Mindanao power consumers because it seems that Sen. Osmeña is expressing the prevailing viewpoint in the President Aquino government. Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Office, for example, has been saying the same things as Sen. Osmeña.

With the P-Noy government having the same perverse perspective as Senator Osmeña, we cannot expect the government to implement the correct solutions that would speedily terminate the blackouts without excessively increasing the power rates in Mindanao.

The Manila Standard headline article (copied below) states:
“Senator Sergio Osmeña III, chairman of the Senate committee on energy, blamed the executives and lawmakers in Mindanao and the environmentalist group Greenpeace for the island’s power woes characterized by crippling eight-hour daily power outages.”

Read full article @ www.cityofwaterfalls-iligancity.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[From the web] Sa pagtaas ng presyo ng LPG:umaabot sa kusina,tumatagos sa sikmura -workersstandpoint.wordpress.com

March 11, 2012

Sa pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, kadalasang nakikita ang protesta sa kalsada ng mga tsuper at operator ng pampublikong transportasyon. Pero higit sa lahat, ang usaping ito ay umaabot sa kusina at tumatagos sa bituka!

Ang pagtaas ng presyo ng LPG ay higit pa sa presyo ng gasolina’t diesel. Ito ngayon ay nasa halos P900 hanggang P1,000 kada 11 kilong tangke. Kung hindi mapipigilan, hindi malayong tayo ay bumalik sa uling na panggatong!

Mas masakit sa taumbayan ang pagtaas ng presyo ng LPG sapagkat ito ay ating direktang kinokonsumo. Hindigayang diesel at gasolina na naipapasa ng mga tsuper/operator sa kanilang mga pasahero (matapos aprubahan ng LTFRB ang kanilang petisyong magtaas ng pamasahe.

Kahit deregulated ang oil industry, magagawang kontrolin ang presyo ng LPG para tugunan ang kagyat na karaingan ng publiko. Igiit natin sa Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) na ikategorya ang LPG bilang “basic commodity” upang makontrol ng ahensya ang presyo nito. Ituring itong tulad ng mantika, arina, at iba pang kalakal na binabantayan ng DTI ang bawat paggalaw ng presyo.

Gayundin, pairalin ang anti-trust law at iba pang batas sa mga monopolyo’t kartel laban sa LPGMA (Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers Association).  Ang LPGMA ay isang kartel na sama-samang nagdidikta para itaas ang presyo ng LPG.

Tanggalin sa Batasan si Cong. Arnel Ty ng LPGMA party-list. Ang LPGMA ay binubuo ng mga kompanyang nagbebenta ng LPG pero hindi sila mga maliliit na negosyante kundi mga kapitalistang may bilyon-bilyong puhunan. Sila ay hindi mula sa marginalized o inaaping sektor. Sila mismo ang isa sa nang-aapi sa taumbayan! #

Read more about WorkersStandpoint @ workersstandpoint.wordpress.com

[In the news] Clean and Renewable Energy Movement for Ecological Integrity to campaign for clean energy | Sun.Star

Clean and Renewable Energy Movement for Ecological Integrity to campaign for clean energy | Sun.Star.

January 23, 2012

 CADIZ City — A new green group, now in its final stage of formation, will soon be launched to lead the advocacy for the use of renewable energy or what the group calls clean energy.

Francisco Puey, a Negrense businessman, a staunch advocate of clean and renewable energy systems, and the chief facilitator of the Clean and Renewable Energy Movement for Ecological Integrity (Creme), said his team is now in Cadiz and Sagay areas exploring some private spring and biomass sources for development to clean and renewable energy to supply public utilities and communities.

Puey said the group will spearhead the promotion, utilization and development of clean energy like solar, wind, hydro and biomass power in Negros and elsewhere.

“The threat of a power crisis in the next two to five years is not just a product of speculative minds of certain government officials and policy makers but a real one which, if not addressed soon and decisively, will only make us all sorry,” said Puey.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[Featured Photos] Community staged picket against power rates hike – FDC

Photo by FDC

Members of community-based organizations affiliated with the Freedom from Debt Coalition stage a picket protest against high electricity rates during a “face-off” between FDC and commissioners of the Energy Regulatory Commission.

[Press Release] Akbayan Confronts Secretary Almendras over DOE’s Commitment to Coal

Akbayan  Confronts Secretary Almendras over DOE’s Commitment to Coal

A sharp exchange between Akbayan Representative Walden Bello and Department of Energy Secretary Rene Almendras marked a pre-plenary budget hearing on Sept. 7.

DOE Still behind Aboitiz Coal-fired Plant

The bone of contention was the administration’s position on coal-fired power plants.  Bello asked Almendras if the DOE was still supporting the construction of a coal-powered energy plant by the Aboitiz group of companies in Subic given what he characterized as the “overwhelming rejection of the proposed Aboitiz coal-powered plant by the citizens of Subic, Olongapo, and Zambales.”  Almendras did not answer the question directly but pointed to what he alleged was a need for additional base load generation capability due to an impending electricity shortfall in Luzon of 600MW in 2013 and 2014, and 700MW in 2015.
Coal, the energy secretary continued, was currently the cheapest energy option.

Bello countered that the DOE was myopic in considering only financial cost and ignoring the well-known negative environmental impacts of coal, which not only has damaging effects on the environment and public health but is also worse than oil in terms of its contribution to global warming.

“Coal is dirty,” said Bello, “and the costs in terms of environmental degradation and the toll on public health will outweigh the alleged financial benefits.”

Push for Coal Undermines Renewable Energy Act

Moreover, the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (RA 9513), according to Bello, “mandates the government to move from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.”  The reliance on coal-powered plants that the DOE is promoting is undermining the law, said the Akbayan congressman.The Renewable Energy Act seeks to improve the exploration and development of solar, biomass, wind, hydro, geothermal, tidal and other renewable sources of energy.

Almendras denied, however, that the push for coal in the short term was moving the country away from the intent of the Renewable Energy Act.  He said that in renewable energy sources now make up over 55 per cent of the total energy mix.  “I think the Renewable Energy Act is a good law,” said the DOE Secretary, claiming that there are now “implementable renewable energy technologies.”

Bello countered by asking the secretary to provide him with a detailed program showing how the DOE was moving the country’s energy mix from fossil fuels to renewables.

Bello Questions Almendras’ Loyalties

At one point, Bello brought up the DOE secretary’s previous employment with Aboitiz corporate group, the main promoter of the coal option in the country.

“How can we be sure that your previous association with Aboitiz is not affecting your decisions?,” asked Bello.

Almendras denied being influenced by Aboitiz, saying his decisions were guided solely by the “national interest.”

Bello said, however, that his question regarding Almendras’ loyalties was a “legitimate” one:  “I have to make this question explicit with all administration appointees who come from the private sector.  I did the same thing with Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gary Domingo, asking him if his opposition to workers’ security of tenure might not be related to his having been executive director of SM Investments, one of the worst abusers of contractualization.”

Disciplining the Oil Giants

Earlier in the hearing, the Akbayan representative also said the constant changes in the price of oil were tormenting consumers and making it very difficult for consumers and industries to doing any planning.  “While consumers and industries suffer, the oil giants are making tremendous profits,” Bello asserted.

Almendras agreed, saying that, despite volatile price of oil, the big three oil companies, Petron, Shell, and Caltex, have maintained profit margins between 1-3% over the last couple of years, and have “never been in the red” except in 2008.

This prompted Bello to ask whether or not the DOE considers price controls.  Almendras said that while the DOE preferred to deal with the oil problem via subsidies to the consumer, he was open to changes in the Oil Deregulation Law that Congress might deem fit to make.

According to Bello, if genuine, the Energy secretary’s commitments to such reforms “will be instrumental in crafting Philippine energy policies that will be beneficial for ordinary Filipino consumers rather than the energy giants.”###

Sabrina Laya S. Gacad
Senior Legislative and Media Officer
Office of Hon. WALDEN F. BELLO
AKBAYAN Party-list Representative
House of Representatives
Quezon City, Philippines

[Press Release] Pambansang protesta laban sa mataas na singil sa kuryente, ikinasa – www.fdc.ph

POWER-OFF: National Day of Protest
Pambansang protesta laban sa mataas na singil sa kuryente, ikinasa

Isa sa mabibigat na pasanin ngayon hindi lamang ng mga karaniwang mamamayan, kundi maging ng mga negosyante, ang mataas na singil sa kuryente.

Nang maging batas ang Republic Act No. 9136 o ang Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) noong 2001, ipingako nito ang pagkakaroon ng abot-kaya at sapat na suplay ng kuryente.

Subalit, makalipas ang sampung taon, taliwas sa mga pangakong ito ang kinakaharap ng mamamayan. Halimbawa, P5 lamang kada kiloWatt-hour ang singil sa mga konsyumer ng Meralco bago maisabatas ang EPIRA. Ngayon, naglalaro sa halagang P11 hanggang P12 kada KiloWatt-hour ang presyo nito.

Bukod pa dito, maraming petisyon sa Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) na nag-aambang magdulot ng mas mataas na singil sa kuryente – Luzon (P6.0359/kWh), Visayas (P5.5857), Mindanao (P4.38/kWh), at konsyumer ng Meralco (P6.1465/kWh):
• Ang Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) ay humihingi ng karagdagang taas na P0.1059/kWh para sa Luzon at P0.1157/kWh para sa Visayas;
• Humihingi din ang PSALM at National Power Corporation (Napocor) ng adjustment sa universal charge (UC) na P0.39/kWh upang ma-recover ang ilang bahagi ng utang ng Napocor. Batay sa petisyon, P0.03/kWh ang kokolektahin sa loob ng 15 taon upang bayaran ang stranded debts; at P0.36/kWh sa loob ng apat na taon para sa stranded contract costs;
• Humihingi din ang PSALM ng adjustment ng base rate ng Napocor sa ilalim ng Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM) at Incremental Currency Exchange Rate Adjustment (ICERA) na magdudulot ng karagdagang taas na P4.72/kWh sa Luzon, P4.26/kWh sa Visayas at P3.17/kWh sa Mindanao;
• Ang National Grid Corp of the Philippines (NGCP) ay nagpetisyon na rin ng dagdag-singil na P0.82/kWh, na titilad-tilarin mula Oktubre 2011 hanggang Disyembre 2015 sa Luzon upang mabawi ang halagang P80.2 million na ginamit ng kumpanya sa rehabilitasyon at pagkumpuni ng mga nasirang transmission line dulot ng mga Bagyong Basyang and Juan noong 2010.
• Samantala, ang Meralco ay magtataas ng generation charge mula August 2011 ng P0.08/kWh bilang resulta ng pagtaas ng halaga ng kuryente sa wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) at ng mga power producer nito.
• Nakakuha na rin ang Meralco ng pagsang-ayon mula sa ERC na magdagdag ng singil na 3.06 centavos/kWh upang mabawi ang hindi nito nasingil mula Enero 26 hanggang Pebrero 25 noong 2010 na nagkakahalaga ng P944 milyon.

Bukod sa mga ito, maaari din magdulot ng pagtaas sa singil sa kuryente ang pagsasapribado ng malalaki at mahahalagang power plant:
• Ang Angat electric hydro-power plant sa Bulacan na kasalukuyang pinigil ng Korte Suprema ang pagsasapribado nito;
• Ang Unified Leyte Geothermal Plants na binayaran na ng mga mamamayan sa Eastern Visayas ngunit maaari silang singilin muli sakaling ito ay maisapribado; at,
• Ang Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex na nagbibigay ng murang kuryente sa Mindanao.

Dahil sa walang habas na pagtaas ng singil sa kuryente at sa pagsasapribado ng mga renewable energy-based power plant, magsasagawa ng “National Day of Protest” ang grupong Freedom from Debt Coalition sa ika-11 ng Oktubre. Layunin nito na hikayatin ang mga mamamayan na ipahayag ang kanilang saloobin hinggil sa mabigat na pasaning ito.

Hindi na kinakailangang lumayo pa ang mga mamayan sa kanilang lugar, maaari silang makiisa sa protesta kahit na sa loob lamang ng kanilang nasasakupan. “Power-off” o patay-ilaw at noise barrage mula 7:30 PM hanggang 8:00 PM sa ika-11 ng Oktubre ang kulminasyon ng protesta.

Naniniwala ang grupo na sa sama-samang pagkilos, magigising sa reyalidad ang gobyerno at mabibigyan-solusyon ang lumalalang sitwasyon sa kuryente.

Umaasa din ang grupo na maitutuwid na ang mga pagkakamali ng mga nagdaang administrasyon sa industriya ng kuryente. Isang paraan na nakikita ng FDC ay ang pagkakansela ng kontrata ng gobyerno sa mga independent power producer (IPPs). (30)

• Stranded debts are any unpaid financial obligation of the Napocor that has not been liquidated by the proceeds from the privatization of the generating firm’s assets
• Stranded contract costs are the excess of the contracted cost of electricity under eligible contracts over the actual selling price of the contracted energy output of these contracts in the market
• Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM) recovers the cost of fuel and of electricity purchased from privately owned power plants
• Incremental Currency Exchange Rate Adjustment (ICERA) is a mechanism to recover the state power generator’s foreign exchange fluctuation costs
• Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is the agency tasked under EPIRA to oversee the liquidation of Napocor’s assets to pay off its debts, and in the process lower power rates

Freedom from Debt Coalition
11 Matimpiin St., Brgy. Pinyahan, Quezon City 1100, Philippines
Phone: (+632) 921 1985 * Telefax: (+632) 924 6399
Website: http://www.fdc.ph * Email: mail@fdc.ph

Contact persons:
Milo Tanchuling, Secretary-General, +63.920.901.8711
Job Bordamonte, Program Coordinator, +63.920.914.9561
Bobby Diciembre, Media Officer, +63.920.905.9856

[Press Release] Junk Napocor, Psalm petition to increase universal charge, FDC urged ERC

MANILA, Philippines – The petition of National Power Corporation (Napocor) and Power Sector Assets Liabilities Management (PSALM) seeking to recover stranded debts and contract costs amounting to almost P140 billion or equivalent to 40 centavos per kilowatt-hour through the universal charge (UC) should be denied by the Energy Regulatory Commission for lack of merit and substance, according to the Freedom from Debt Coalition.

In a protest action outside the Ortigas office of the regulatory body coinciding the public hearing on the said petition, FDC members from various communities and Youth Against Debt brought giant “scissors” demanding cuts in electricity rates in the country, which, at present, has the highest residential power rates in Asia at 24.566 US cents per kWh.

The group also brought a giant paycheck illustrating the latest total debts of Napocor and PSALM, amounting to P729 billion ($17 billion, P42:$1) under the account name of Juan de la Cruz. They then cut up the check with scissors, symbolically rejecting the huge debts intended to be passed on to ordinary consumers in the next 25 years.

FDC claimed that PSALM is “hiding behind small numbers” because the agency’s “true and cruel intention” is to pass on the entire debt to ordinary consumers. The group added that raising awareness about this issue among the public is vital.

PSALM is mandated under Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to calculate the amount of stranded debt and stranded contract costs of Napocor. EPIRA defines stranded debts as any unpaid financial obligation of Napocor that has not been liquidated by the proceeds from the privatization of its assets. On the other hand, stranded contract costs are those excess contracted cost of electricity under eligible contracts over the actual selling price of the contracted energy output of these contracts in the market.

In their petition, Napocor and PSALM seek the approval of stranded contract costs portion of UC in the amount of P74.298 billion to be imposed at the rate of P0.3666/kWh, and stranded debts portion of UC in the amount of P65.019 billion at the rate of P0.0313/kWh. The petitioners seek to impose these additional rates to customers of the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids. They await the issuance of provisional authority in order to start charging electricity consumers with these additional rates pending approval of their petition.

Job Bordamonte, FDC power campaign coordinator, said that privatization of assets held by government-owned entities – in this case Napocor – “strands” certain costs. This is because obligations incurred in pre-existing expenses/debts pertaining to acquisition and maintenance of those assets would have been recovered by Napocor through its return-on-rate-base (RORB).

“But these could no longer be recovered when the assets were sold to private entities and could no longer be operated by Napocor for electricity-generation,” said Bordamonte.

In its intervention, FDC cited a paper by William J. Baumol and J. Gregory Sidak published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (Volume 18, Number 3, Summer 1995), explaining that these costs represent expenditures incurred in the past while meeting its obligation to serve all customers within the area in which it holds an exclusive franchise.

“However, the entry of competitors who are not burdened by such inherited expenses can prevent the utilities from recovering those costs,” FDC said.

The ERC has denied PSALM and Napocor’s first petition on 15 November 2010 due to their failure to substantiate their application for proposed rate increase. The original amount of the said application was P573 billion for stranded debts while stranded contract costs was around P22 billion and P26.865 billion. FDC was one of the many opposed to the said application.

However, FDC has learned during the budget deliberation last August 9 at the Lower House that PSALM’s most updated debts continue to surge, amounting now to $17 billion or P729 billion (P42:$1). FDC believes that a series of applications is still being worked out by PSALM and Napocor until the entire amount is paid for by consumers.

In addition, FDC said that the petition on stranded debts tends to lump all types of Napocor losses together to be paid for by electricity consumers through the UC. “This opens the door to double recovery for Napocor, such as actual and/or constructive recovery through its regulated rates and recovery through the UC,” FDC said.

According to FDC, “most of the amount in the latest applications does not have any relations to our legitimate usage of electricity because these are mainly financial obligations in the form of debts which are being borne-out over the past years of government incompetence, mismanagement and wrong policies that continue to aggravate the lingering problems of our national debt as well as our power industry.”

FDC said that despite the EPIRA’s formula of selling government assets, imposing various additional charges, and assuming P200 billion of Napocor debt, the debts of Napocor and PSALM continue to balloon while the lives of ordinary consumers worsen in the last ten years under the EPIRA law.

FDC said the present administration must acknowledge that this is no longer a business-as-usual approach in relation to the issue of ever-increasing power rates which are being left alone in the hands of ERC commissioners.

Invoking President Benigno S. Aquino III’s slogan of “matuwid na daan,” FDC said that this is a matter of national survival and that the need for a debt audit and cancellation of onerous Napocor loans are urgent. (30)

22 August 2011

[In the news] Must use coal, for now: President Benigno Aquino III | Sun.Star

Must use coal, for now: President Benigno Aquino III | Sun.Star.

CEBU CITYPresident Benigno Aquino III commended a Philippine-Korean joint venture for “considering the environment” in building its 200-megawatt coal-fired power plants, which he inaugurated on Monday.

A week after launching the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), the president told reporters his administration has to balance environmental protection with the need for a sustainable power supply to support economic growth.

“While the power plant we are inaugurating today does not necessarily produce renewable energy, it does comply with the Clean Air Act and is very friendly to the environment,” he said in a speech at the Naga power plant complex of the Korean Electric Power Corp. and Salcon Power Corp. (Kepco-SPC).

Coal ash disposal and other problems can be solved to minimize harm to the environment, he said, but the lack of power supply is worse because it can bring down the economy.

His statements will not sit well with environmental groups who have gone to court in Cebu to stop the allegedly indiscriminate disposal of coal ash. The Philippine Earth Justice Center’s case against Kepco-SPC remains pending.

Read full article @ SUNSTAR.com.ph


HRonlinePH says…
“Coal ash disposal and other problems can be solved to minimize harm to the environment, he said (President Aquino), but the lack of power supply is worse because it can bring down the economy.”

Yes the government is aware of the need to minimize the harm it causes the environment but it’s a must that they will be clear on their plans and alternative.      

[Press Release] After 10 years of implementation: EPIRA enriches “Voltage 5”

Ten years since the passage of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), its promise of affordable and accessible electricity to all through privatization and a leveled playing field in the industry has turned into its complete opposite.

Today, the Philippines suffers from the highest residential and industrial power rates in Asia, even higher than Japan.  As a consequence, millions of Filipino consumers are much poorer, electricity wise—adding another facet to the worsening problem of Philippine poverty, including the increased burden on our women.  Another victim is our industries, the share of which in our gross domestic product (GDP) has been on a downward path for the past 25 years and our agriculture which has generally declined as a share of our GDP since postwar years.

In contrast to our electricity-starved citizenry and economy, five super-rich families have become much, much richer, having cornered the fruits of EPIRA privatization which in practice has dropped all pretensions of opening up the electric power industry to as many competitive players as possible.

The Lopez and Aboitiz families have reaped the oligopolistic super-profit bonanzas from the cross-ownership of power generation and distribution. To share the ever-enlarging super-profit pie now is the rising “pacman,” Manny V. Pangilinan to whom controlling ownership of Meralco, the distribution super-monopoly of Luzon, has passed.  Not far behind is Danding Cojuangco’s San Miguel Corporation which has grabbed 30 percent of power generation nationwide.

In addition, the formerly state-owned National Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO), which handles high-voltage power transmission from power generation to distribution companies, is now in the hands of the private joint venture corporation, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).  Co-owners of NGCP are Monte Oro Grid Resources Corporation which is now owned by the One Taipan Holdings, Inc. of Henry Sy of SM chain of giant malls fame, the Coyuito-led Calaca High Power Corporation, and the China State Grid Industry Development Ltd, a Chinese State corporation which owns 40 percent of the shares. The current NGCP president is Henry Sy Jr., son of the SM taipan.  It is interesting to note that the Sys bought Monte Oro from Enrique Razon Jr., who is closely associated with former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and who made a large killing out of this sale in less than a year after winning the bid.

We recall that one of the desperate messages contrived by the Ramos administration to justify EPIRA is the need to pay the gargantuan debts of the state-owned National Power Corporation or NPC.  By 2001, total NPC debts stood at $16.3 billion or P831 billion (P51: US$1, 2001 exchange rate).

In accordance with EPIRA, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) was set up to privatize NPC power plants and settle its debts.  But as of 2010, NPC debts stood at $15.8 billion or P679.4 billion (P43: US$ 1, 2010 exchange rate), registering a small reduction.

PSALM’s failed to retire NPC debts despite repeated power rate increases and power adjustments under EPIRA which were all shouldered by consumers, not to mention the burden of additional taxes used to invest in NPC power plants – more than 90 percent of which have been sold to pay NPC debts. In addition, PSALM made major blunders that further aggravate its financial status like the losses from Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) trading in October 2008 to almost P1 billion. This is aside from an unconfirmed report that the agency gave an eight-month salary bonus to its officials and employees in 2010 despite its discouraging asset management performance.

So powerful has been the oligarchic clout over the electric power industry and oligarchic influence over state agencies that regulatory capture is the word that can best describe the fate of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). Time and again, consumers are up in arms protesting the bias of its decisions in favor of Meralco and other large distribution companies.

Against all facts and figures indicating the damaging effect of privatization under EPIRA on our consumers and the national economy, large vested interests and their allies in government are still hell-bent on privatizing the rural electric cooperatives.  This remaining social sector or non-profit, non-state sector of the electric power industry got the mandate to electrify most of our provinces, particularly during the Marcos regime.  Despite the traditional politics and management and financial troubles of a number of these cooperatives, many of them can claim success.

Ten years of a failed privatization scheme under EPIRA should convince the Philippine government, especially Congress, to overhaul it.  Our people need and deserve a new electric power reform law that will really provide affordable, accessible and clean electricity to all. They need and deserve an electric power industry where private participation can have a place but where the State and the public/social sector dominate to secure public welfare and guarantee a national development that is based on equitable growth, sustainability and gender equality.

President, Freedom from Debt Coalition

Contact person:
Ricardo B. Reyes, FDC President, +63.918.907.0674
08 June 2011

[Event] National Power Summit: “Lessons Learned, Challenges and Prospects for the Philippine Power Industry” – www.fdc.ph

On the 10th year anniversary of EPIRA
An initiative by
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)

in cooperation with

1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy Partylist (1-CARE)
Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (AMRECO)
Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC)
Foundation for Sustainable Society Inc. (FSSI)
Fair Trade Alliance (FTA)

convenes a

National Power Summit

“Lessons Learned, Challenges and Prospects for the Philippine Power Industry”


The power industry in the Philippines is at a crossroads.

With one of the highest industrial and residential power rates in Asia and in the whole world, the industry has made life harsher and harder for poor Filipinos.  Economic growth is also slow as the high cost of power has made our industries uncompetitive in the international market, the consequences of which are being shouldered by ordinary people – by workers for instance who suffer depressed wages and job losses, and by consumers who bear the brunt of high prices of goods and services.

Regrettably for over a decade, the Filipino people have not come close to savoring the taste and smell of an affordable and reliable supply of electricity. Under the pre-EPIRA set up wherein power generation and transmission were concentrated in a state monopoly, and where rural electric cooperatives tended to serve a more political than developmental (and democratic) function, rent-seeking, corruption and political patronage became the norm, culminating in the monstrosity of the Bataan nuclear power plant, the severe power shortage of the 1990s, and debts that even the World Bank found unsatisfactory.

The power crisis from the late 80s up to the early 90s was exploited by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the power-brokers in Malacanañg to tap the private sector in addressing the crisis by liberalizing the entry of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in power generation.  The supply shortage was addressed but the prohibitive cost of such cure was not told to the public until the mid-1990s.

The apparent haste of the National Power Corporation (NPC) in entering into contracts with IPPs without it seems much consideration of actual and realistically forecasted supply and demand conditions, and without prudent assessment of the risks and costs attached to such risks that NPC was absorbing in these contracts, created a new problem for the power sector. From a situation of shortage the pendulum shifted to an over-contracted supply that consumers had to pay for whether or not they were actually using the contracted capacity. This and many anomalous details in the contracts with IPPs also sank the NPC deeper into debt: US$9-B[1] of new debts arising from the purchased power contracts with the IPPs.  These onerous IPP contracts gave rise to the unjust collection of purchased power adjustment or PPA from the consumers.  From then on, PPA constituted the single biggest item in NPC’s tariff rates, amounting to not less than P3/kWh before the unbundling of rates. This quick fix solution also allowed the entry of dirty power plants utilizing fossil fuel such as coal and diesel which pollute the environment and add to CO2 emissions.

The enactment of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) in 2001 has put the IFIs power reform program in the country into full motion, with privatization as its main motor and deregulation as its accelerator.  With its proclaimed mission of lowering rates and ensuring efficient and reliable energy supply, EPIRA as it has been implemented over the past ten years has resulted to more price hikes and less competition.  In addition, the newly-created Luzon grid spot market under WESM has not been spared from price manipulation as highly concentrated demand and supply conditions make it extremely profitable for the players (private and state) to exercise and abuse market power.  Moreover, injury is aggravated when consumers are rendered helpless against these abuses and manipulations as the Department of Energy (DOE) and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) do nothing to stop or prevent these from happening. And they continue to happen, with impunity.

The few families that dominated the power sector in the past remain as entrenched as ever if not more so, with two or three wealthy individuals and big business groups entering the fray since the passage of EPIRA in 2001. Privatization of the government’s assets has not resulted in de-monopolization and competition, but rather, higher concentration, vertically; and horizontally. This together with deregulation of generation and supply courtesy of the EPIRA has resulted in market abuse that has so far been unchecked by the regulators. And since the government’s liabilities were not privatized, we have recently learned that privatization of the assets of the National Power Corporation has done little to reduce its debts which will now be passed on to electricity consumers, rich AND poor.

Notwithstanding all these unmet objectives of EPIRA, the IFIs, government, and power-brokers/marketers contend that while reforms in the power industry may have suffered setbacks, all these are but a work in progress as actual privatization of the assets of NPC began only five years ago. Yet with privatization continuing at a more harried pace today, the future of the industry and the dream of consumers to have universal access to affordable, sustainable and reliable power, remain bleak. As far as ordinary consumers and the poor are concerned, the lights are still off.

A. Objectives:

1. To craft strong and unified positions on the government’s campaign to privatize remaining assets of NPC (Angat, Agus-Pulangi and Unified Leyte Geothermal Plant) and the rural electric cooperatives, and on the privatization of transmission

2. To develop and promote Filipino consumers welfare and interest in the power industry

  •     Affordable power rates
  •     Reliable, secure power supply
  •     Strategic and programmed democratization of ownership and control particularly in generation and distribution sectors
  •     Strategic and programmed shift towards renewable energy
  •     Active role of the public sector in transmission and in crucial power generation

B. Target participants:

1.       119 Rural Electric Cooperatives
2.       Legislators
2.1    Hon. Senator Chiz Escudero
2.2    Hon. Senator Gringo Honasan
2.3    Hon. Senator Antonio Trillanes
2.4    Hon. Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada
2.5    Hon. Congressman Walden Bello
2.6    Hon. Congresswoman Kaka Bag-ao
2.7    Hon. Congressman Michael Angelo Rivera
2.8    Hon. Congressman Salvador Cabaluna III

3.       Consumer groups
3.1    Save Angat Dam (SAD Sale)
3.2    Coalition of Consumers for the Deferment of the Privatization of the Tongonan Geothermal Power plants (UNIFIED Leyte)
3.3    PALAG Mindanao
3.4    FDC Local chapters (Ilo-ilo, Cebu, Negros, Evis, Davao, Westmin, Gensan)

4.       Business groups (c/o FTA)
5.       Associations and unions under REC’s (c/o APL, PM, NSU-NSA)
6.       Department of Energy (DOE)
7.       Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)
8.       Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM)

C. Concept and description of activities:

Day 1 – Pre-Summit (Public Forum and Focus Group Discussions)

  •     Morning session – Public Forum sponsored by the University of the Philippines-National Engineering Center

Lessons Learned – “Dissecting the Anatomy of EPIRA”

  •     Afternoon session – Breakout Groups (Focus Group Discussions)

Challenges – “Moving beyond the failures of EPIRA: Recommendations and other measures”

FGD (Session 1) – How to reduce power rates in the Philippines?
FGD (Session 2) – Solutions to NPC debts: Some recommendations
FGD (Session 3) – Making power industry more efficient, reliable and secured
FGD (Session 4) – A Viable and Democratic REC’s
FGD (Session 5) – What kind of regulation do we need and how?
FGD (Session 6) – Renewable Energy: Moving Forward

Day 2 – National Power Summit


  •     (Moring session) – A Sustainable Framework for Electric Cooperatives in Regulated Public Utilities
  •     (Afternoon session) – Citizen’s report and recommendations on Power Industry – Multi-stakeholders gathering

[Event] Forum on EPIRA: ‘Power Failure: 10 years of EPIRA’ – IBON Foundation

June 8 is the 10th anniversary of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), a law that was approved in 2001 after aggressive lobbying by foreign financial institutions. Ten years later, the Philippines has the highest power rates in Asia, said to be even higher than Japan‘s.

The People Opposed to Warrantless Electricity Rates (Power), together with IBON Foundation and progressive partylist groups, will present the people’s review of the EPIRA at the forum “Power Failure: 10 years of EPIRA” on June 8, 1 p.m. at the Minority Conference Room, North Wing, House of Representatives.

We cordially invite you to join us in this forum. For inquiries, please call IBON at tel. 927-6986.

[In the news] Fisherfolk oppose PPP oil exploration projects – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News

Fisherfolk oppose PPP oil exploration projects – Nation – GMA News Online – Latest Philippine News.

Massive oil and gas exploration projects under President Benigno Aquino III’s public-private partnership (PPP) program are a “wholesale recipe for destruction” of Philippine biodiversity, a militant fisherfolk alliance warned on Thursday.

Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) vice-chair Salvador France raised the alarm over the 15 oil and gas exploration projects the Aquino administration is offering to American and European investors.

“Environmental catastrophe is written all over these oil and gas hunt projects of the Aquino administration and the destruction and imminent death of the country’s biodiversity will be the outright result of these foreign funded oil and gas experiments,” France said.

Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras had said that his department will kick off a US and European tour in July or August to convince foreign corporations to finance oil and gas exploration projects in the Philippines under the PPP arrangement.

But Pamalakaya called on the Senate and the House of Representatives to look into the many repercussions of auctioning off the country’s marine resources and territorial waters to foreign investors for oil and gas explorations, adding that these constitute “gross violations of the country’s national sovereignty and patrimony.”

“We all know where we are coming from. President Aquino and his Energy secretary should know the devastating experience we had in 2005, when former-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo allowed a Japanese oil exploration firm to drill [off] the waters of Tanon Strait, a protected seascape separating the island provinces of Cebu and Negros for oil and gas,” Pamalakaya said.

The group said that the Tanon Straits exploration had yielded no oil and gas, and worse, it destroyed the rich marine environment and reduced fish catch of small fishermen in the area from an average of 15 kg to just 1-3 kg per fishing trip.

The group added that several incidents of fish kills were also recorded in the exploration site and a number of fisherfolk and residents near the exploration site suffered different types of skin diseases.

Among the hundreds of thousands of hectares the Department of Energy would offer to new investors are ocean waters off the shores of Cagayan province, the Mindoro-Cuyo basin in northwest Palawan, five projects in eastern Palawan, offshore Cotabato, and the Sulu Sea. — MRT/VS, GMA News

[Opinion] reaction to the Manila Times article entitled “Aquino MTPDP proposes nuke plant” – Partido Kalikasan

This is a reaction to the Manila Times article entitled “Aquino MTPDP proposes nuke plant” published April 5 (2011).

I wish to play witness to two events in the process of formulating the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP 2011-2016) that we know of where the proposal for nuclear energy program was discussed.

Partido Kalikasan (Philippine Green Party), joined the National Consultation of the MTPDP. We openly opposed the formulation then of a “National Nuclear Energy Program” as one of the targets of the MTPDP. The MTPDP infrastructure planning committee where this was discussed agreed to withdraw this proposal but in the plenary presentation, they still mentioned this as part of the alternative sources of energy that should be studied.

In the inter-planning committee workshop that followed weeks after, the Civil Society representative Pastor Delbert Rice raised opposition against even the inclusion of a study on nuclear energy as an alternative source in plenary. NEDAs Paderanga who chaired this session noted this position.

Let it be known publicly that we opposed this proposal from the very beginning. The article of Mr. Amojelar; where he noted that Paderanga said this proposal was “…one of the possibilities that was mentioned during the consultation with the civil society as an alternative source of power” must be updated to also say that the civil society representative and Partido Kalikasan opposed this proposal.

Now that the MTPDP has been “approved in principle”, the public can now judge the stand of this current government on nuclear energy program.

Roy Cabonegro
Partido Kalikasan

Room 302 CRM Bldg, Kamias Road corner Kasing Kasing Street, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Email: roycabonegro@yahoo.com

[In the web] FDC asks Aquino to drop nuclear plans, calls for Nuclear power-free MTPDP- www.fdc.ph

Source: http://fdc.ph

MANILA, Philippines – The Freedom from Debt Coalition today asked President Benigno S. Aquino III to drop all options of tapping nuclear power as a solution to the country’s power generation problems.

The group issued the statement following two massive explosions that rocked Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant which was damaged in Friday’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake and its consequent devastating tsunami. Japanese officials, according to reports, are struggling to contain radioactive contamination.

FDC also issued the statement after Pangasinan Rep. Kimi Conjuangco voluntarily shelved her proposed bill to revive the controversial $2.3-billion Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

Ric Reyes, FDC President, said that with Japan’s terrifying experience with their nuclear energy systems, “all attempts at reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant must be quashed and the nuclear option indicated in the government’s economic blueprint junked.”

“We should learn from Japan,” Reyes said, adding that the Philippines and Japan are situated on the edges of the Pacific Ring of Fire. “In fact, a tectonic plate between the Philippines and Japan is named after our country – The Philippine Sea Plate or simply, the Filipino Plate.”

According to FDC, the Aquino administration is still considering nuclear energy as reflected in the draft Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), the government’s economic blueprint which identifies growth sectors for the next six years.

Under Chapter 4 (2.2) of the draft MTPDP 2011-2017, the government will pursue the strategy of alternative technologies in power generation such as nuclear power.

“The Aquino administration must remove this section of the blueprint,” Reyes stressed.

Aside from this, one other evidence that the government is seriously pursuing nuclear energy prospects is the presentation last year of Mauro Marcelo of the National Power Corporation who even identified eleven possible sites for a new nuclear power plant.

“What made this government think that a nuclear plant is safe from tremors in Cavite, Negros or Zamboanga?” asked Reyes. “We should consider the fact that even Japanese technology, one of the most advanced in the world, failed to prevent the breaking down of its cooling plants and to avoid possible nuclear meltdown. Indeed, no amount of modern technology can withstand extreme natural disasters,” he added.

Privatization of power plants in Mindanao is not the solution to avert crisis

Pulangi River in Valencia City, Bukidnon

Image via Wikipedia

It seems that the “inclination” of President Benigno S. Aquino III to privatize remaining power plants in Mindanao is based on wrong data, the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) said.

Ricardo Reyes, FDC president, said that President Aquino must have been given the wrong data because the actual generation charge of Mindanao power plants, specifically of Agus and Pulangi hydropower complex in northern part of the region, is P2.80, which is less than the selling price of P3.00.

The advocacy group disputed Aquino’s statement that “we kept on selling electricity about P3 when the actual charge of generation was P5,” which he issued in an economic briefing in Cagayan De Oro City last Wednesday.

The President begged for “your understanding but it does not make sense to continue producing any product and selling it at a loss to be passed on to other people.”

Photo source: http://www.businessweekmindanao.comhe President begged for “your understanding but it does not make sense to continue producing any product and selling it at a loss to be passed on to other people.”

“We beg your pardon, Mr. President, but NPC’s Mindanao power plants are earning a net profit of P7 billion annually according to the NPC data that we obtained. How can they be selling at a loss if they are actually turning in net profits annually?” Reyes asked.

In the same economic briefing, President Aquino was also quoted as saying that the financial “loss” of the Mindanao power plants has contributed to  the debt of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) which now stands at P1 trillion.

According to FDC, President Aquino must have meant the NPC’s debts which were incurred due to the anomalous guarantees provided under the NPC’s contracts with independent power producers (IPP) such as the take-or-pay, fuel and exchange rates. The group added that the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) or Republic Act No. 9136 http://www.neda.gov.ph/references/Ras/RA9136.pdf later legitimized and honored these contracts with anomalous guarantees.

“Now, they have these stranded debts and contract costs as the final financial scheme to collect the said remaining debts of NPC. This is one of the biggest reasons why our electricity bills as well as the debts of NPC and PSALM are very high,” Reyes stressed.

FDC maintained that the privatization of Mindanao power plants will only result in higher power rates for electricity consumers, as what happened in Luzon and Visayas.

“As it is, the Mindanao power plants are providing a vital service in terms of generating and selling electricity at low rates that consumers can afford and still earn profits. There is no reason why they should be privatized, except to bring in the big domestic and multinational monopolies in power generation with the prospect of bigger profits through higher power rates,” Reyes added. JB

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