Tag Archives: ERC

[Press Release] Workers say resignation of ERC Chair Ducut is not enough: No real regulation unless EPIRA is repealed -BMP

Workers say resignation of ERC Chair Ducut is not enough:
No real regulation unless EPIRA is repealed
And energy regulating body is reorganized and democratized

MEMBERS of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) picketed the office of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in Pasig City this morning. The protesters are calling for the reorganization of the ERC, not just the resignation of its chair, Zenaida Ducut, a former representative of Pampanga and believed to be an ally of the Arroyos.

bmplogo

BMP National President Leody de Guzman said, “The removal of Ducut from the ERC is not enough. It will not reduce even a single centavo from extremely costly power rates now plaguing the Filipino people. Meralco’s $0.25/kwh is now the fifth highest in the world”.

He added, “The problem of spiraling electricity rates stems from the twin policies of privatization and deregulation, not from the personal character of the ERC chair, however repulsive she may be to this yellow administration. This dilemma started with the passage of the Electricity Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), which fully opened the doors of the power industry to the richest oligarchs in the land: Lopez, Aboitiz, Cojuangco/Ang, Ayala, George Ty, Alcantara, Manny Pangilinan, Henry Sy and Gokongwei”.

De Guzman clarified, “In a privatized industry under EPIRA, the ERC became a useless ornament to rein in power rates. In actuality, it was an Energy DEREGULATION Commission that could not perform its supposed mandate as a regulatory body. It became an accomplice and ally of corporate interests”.

At the picket, protesters mimicked Makapili traitors by wearing straw bags (bayong) with the slogans “ERC: Tuta ng Kapitalista!” and “ERC: Kasabwat sa Mahal na Kuryente!”. According to De Guzman, the BMP intended to expose the treachery of ERC commissioners who have sacrificed their countrymen to the altars of corporate profit.

“Even if we appoint a saint to replace the much-despised Ducut, government would be virtually powerless to the oligarchs in the power industry as long as EPIRA remains enforced and the ERC is not reformed,” he explained.

The labor leader proposed that the majority of the ERC Board should come from people’s organizations, from representatives from workers, farmers, urban poor, professionals, academe, entrepreneurs and other basic sectors.

He concluded, “The underlying motive beneath the clamor for the resignation of Ducut is the people’s rage against excessive power rates. It is driven by justice not by simple bloodlust against a perceived incompetent public official. The most fitting conclusion to this controversy is for the Aquino administration to initiate the first steps towards regulating and controlling the power industry, not just to replace a pro-Gloria bureaucrat with a lackey of the Liberal Party”.

PRESS RELEASE
January 27, 2014

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[In the news] Group wants all ERC commissioners out for allowing Meralco power hike -GMAnews

Group wants all ERC commissioners out for allowing Meralco power hike.
January 25, 2014, GMA News

The Freedom from Debt Coalition on Saturday demanded the resignation of all commissioners of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for allegedly failing to protect consumers from a P4.15-per-kilowatt-hour imposed by the Manila Electric Co.

In a statement, FDC said the ERC needs a total revamp, with people of “probity, integrity, and competence” replacing its current crop of commissioners.

gmanewsonline

Despite the blanket call for resignations, FDC singled out ERC Chairperson Zenaida Ducut for refusing to resign despite allegedly showing “showing no concern” for Filipino families and the effects of high electricity rates on the country’s economy.

Read full article @www.gmanetwork.com

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[Press Release] Protests vs. Meralco rate hike spreads outside Manila as coordinated picketing staged

Protests vs. Meralco rate hike spreads outside Manila as coordinated picketing staged

Madilim na pasko by PM

The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) staged a coordinated picketing of Meralco branches as protests against the huge power rate hike intensified at the grassroots level and spread outside Metro Manila. Meralco branches in Paranaque, Rizal and Cavite were picketed this morning and afternoon by several hundred workers and urban poor.

Also today, the PM spokesperson together with leaders of other groups formally asked for an anti-competition inquiry on Meralco’s rate hike. The request was filed with the Office for Competition which is under the DOJ and was created by E.O. 45 series of 2011.

“If competition exists in the power industry then business interests would collide but under EPIRA, the players collude,” stressed Wilson Fortaleza, PM spokesperson, as he joined the filing of the request for inquiry on unfair competition against Meralco and generation companies.

He added that “It is futile to pursue an honest scrutiny of Meralco’s huge rate hike through the ERC which is totally captured by monopolists in the power industry. Instead we hope the Office from Competition can give a fair hearing to the complaint. If PNoy is serious about investigating Meralco’s hike, then he can do something through the Office for Competition which is under his authority, unlike the ERC.”

At 10:00 am today, PM members trooped to the Meralco branch in Tambo, Paranaque and Antipolo City in Rizal. Later at 3:00 pm, other PM members in Cavite picketed branches in the towns of Rosario and Dasmarinas.

In the next few days, PM will continue the series of protests with pickets in Marilao, Bulacan and GMA, Cavite.

Press Release
December 16, 2013
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Wilson Fortaleza @ 09178233956

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[Press Release] Urban poor to ERC: Not so fast -SANLAKAS

Urban poor to ERC: Not so fast
March power hike to cost a kilo of rice a month, says activist group

sanlakas-logo2Ortigas, Pasig City – An urban poor group led by Sanlakas and the Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Tagalungsod (KPML) trooped in front of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) office at Ortigas to insist that ERC’s rejection of a petition to include stranded debts (SD) as part of the universal is not enough and that it should have rejected the petition on stranded contract cost (SCC) as well.

“If ERC thinks that it can already get away because it rejected the petition of Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) on stranded debts, it has to think twice. It is still guilty of passing to consumers an illegitimate claim on stranded contract costs,” Sanlakas Secretary-General Manjette Lopez said in a statement.

Republic Act 9146 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) defines stranded contract costs as the excess of the contracted cost of electricity under the contracts of National Power Corporation (NPC) with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) over the actual selling price of the contracted energy output of such contracts in the market. ERC allowed this week PSALM to claim as much as P53.58 billion worth of SCC from the consumers.

Electoral backlash

Sanlakas also claims that the disapproval of stranded debt petition after approving stranded contract costs “smacks of hypocrisy”.
“Rejecting the stranded debt petition gives credence to the argument that SCC should not be included in the universal charge. We suspect that the ERC backed off on stranded debts in order to protect its Liberal Party bosses from further backlash as we approach the 2013 elections,” Lopez claims.

Lopez said that ERC should instead probe PSALM’s failure to reduce NPC debts despite selling 80 percent of its generation assets and IPP supply contracts, as well as initiate another investigation on “onerous IPP contracts”.

A Kilo of Rice a Month

The urban poor group KPML on the other hand slammed ERC for “denying the urban poor a kilo of rice a month”, claiming that the ERC failed in its mandate to protect the consumers.
“The 19.38 centavos to be collected starting next month will cost us an additional P38.76 which is even more expensive than a kilo of rice which costs P35-P38 only,” said KPML.

The protesters dramatized their “disgust at the ERC sell-out of the poor’s interests” by holding a boodle-fight in front of the ERC office.

February 22, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE
Contact Person: Manjette Lopez, Sanlakas Secretary-General @ 0922-860-8863
Val De Guzman, Media Liaison @ 0919-965-7509

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