Tag Archives: Meralco

[Press Release] Workers to PNoy: Apply step 3 on P4.15/kWh Meralco hike -NAGKAISA

Workers to PNoy: Apply step 3 on P4.15/kWh Meralco hike

Asserting its position that recent price hikes in electricity market were the result of wrong commercial decision and regulatory failure, the labor coalition Nagkaisa called on Malacanang to apply step 3 of President Aquino’s declared position on power hike.

“Rectifications must be done outright on the P4.15/kWh Meralco hike, not on future occurrences of similar nature,” said Wilson Fortaleza, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) spokesperson and one of the convenors of Nagkaisa labor coalition.

NAGKAISA

Corrective steps were announced by Malacanang yesterday, amid the heightening controversy on Meralco’s sharp generation rate hike for the November – December billing period.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma explained that under Step 1, preparations should be made to for foreseeable events such as regular maintenance. Step 2 is to ensure that regulators prevent collusion. And Step 3 will ensure that unjust price hikes are not passed on to and borne by the consumers.

“The test for Malacanang right now is whether it can apply Step 3 to the Meralco case and prevent the same in the future by applying Step 1 and 2,” said Fortaleza.

Nagkaisa said that if this can be done outright, it will erase the suspicion that investigations at the Executive and Legislative levels are leading to the exoneration of private players, pin the blame to the system operator, and subsidize the cost of market failure from the Malampaya fund.

The group is opposed to Malampaya subsidizing market failure as this is tantamount to subsidizing fraud. Labor groups contend that risks borne out of wrong commercial decisions must be at no cost to consumers.

Workers had been protesting the power hikes on the belief that they were caused by flawed policies under EPIRA.

NAGKAISA
PRESS RELEASE
25 January 2014
Reference:
Wilson Fortaleza
09178233956; 09225261138

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[Press Release] “Enough is enough”, says militants on the power rates -BMP

“Enough is enough”, says militants on the power rates

As power firms, from power generators to distribution utilities join the Meralco in justifying the power rate hikes as they present their oral arguments before the Supreme Court justices today, militants belonging to Bukjluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralita ng Lungsod (KPML) marched and declared, “Enough is enough” on the power rate hikes.

bmplogo

The militants lamented that the Philippines is now the fifth country in the world and has most expensive electricity in Asia. They said that, “Even without the implementation of “historic” rate hike of Meralco, our $0.24/kwh electricity rates are way beyond our neighbors’”.

Electricity rates cost only $0.15/kwh in Thailand, $0.10/kwh in Malaysia, $0.05 in Indonesia and $0.09 sa China. “Proof that the government’s policy of privatization and deregulation is not universally sound and has become a deterrent to job-creating investments,” said BMP leader Gie Relova.

The Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 has netted Meralco a net income from P2.6 billion in 2008 to P16 billion in 2012. From 2010 up to 2012, their profits grew 42% each year. Making it the most profitable business in the country

The militants brought with them a replica of an electric chair implying that for the longest time the masses has been suffering from high electricity costs and said that it’s about time that President Noynoy Aquino and the chief executive officers of the oligopoly in the industry to sit on it so that they may know what the people have been suffering since 2001.

“If public opinion and continued mass actions can make the Supreme Court turn in favor of the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, then the BMP and KPML are most willing to incite our people to mass action against the vulture-like opportunism of the power firms and the government’s inaction”, Relova stressed.

The groups called for the repealing of the EPIRA, the institution of reforms and democratization of the Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure the role of the country’s poor majority, for the government to take the lead in promoting genuine competition and the nationalization of the power industry. ###

Contact Person:
Gie Relova
0915-2862555

Press Release

21 January 2014

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[Press Release] Militants slam Serge Osmena for “no collusion” statement -PM

Militants slam Serge Osmena for “no collusion” statement

The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) today slammed Sen. Serge Osmena for pre-empting the probes by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the huge power rate hike with his statement yesterday that there is no collusion among generation companies and Meralco. The two departments are precisely looking into allegations of collusion.

pmLogo1

“Serge is a consistent supporter of power industry players since his sponsorship of the EPIRA Law which ushered in the era of high electricity rates to his defense of Meralco’s gargantuan rate hike,” opined Wilson Fortaleza, PM spokesperson.

Fortaleza is one of the signatories to the complaint against Meralco and generation companies lodged by groups last Monday with the DOJ Office for Competition. DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima pledged to come up with a finding by January next year.

Meanwhile PM continued its campaign of picketing Meralco branches. Yesterday its Cavite chapter protested at the Meralco branch and depot in Dasmarinas City. Tomorrow, PM members will picket the Meralco branch in Marilao, Bulacan. Last Monday PM staged a coordinated picket of branches in Paranaque, Rizal and Cavite.

“Serge’s statement is a mere opinion and not even a conclusion after an investigation. At the Senate hearing, even as senators grilled officials of the Energy Regulatory Commission and the DOE, they handled with kid gloves representatives of Meralco and the generation companies. As to why, it may be necessary to look into election campaign contributions by power industry players,” Fortaleza averred.

PM asserts that the Meralco price increase is unconscionable since it is an act of economic terror amid calamities, inequality and poverty in the country. Fortaleza argued that “It is also unfair. Workers in NCR were only granted P10 per day or P260 per month under Wage Order No. 18. The P4.15/kwh total increase in Meralco’s rate is an additional P830 burden for households consuming 200 kwh per month.”

“The worker-led consumer campaign against collusion by Meralco and the generation companies to drive electricity prices will continue and intensify next year. Consumers anger will boil over when they get their next electricity bills,” Fortaleza predicted.

Press Release
December 19, 2013
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Wilson Fortaleza @ 09178233956

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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] Lawmakers, activists want collusion in power firms investigated by DOJ -FDC

Lawmakers, activists want collusion in power firms investigated by DOJ

Citing possible cartelization or combination by several power firms which led to Meralco’s sharp increase in generation charge this month, a group of lawmakers and social activists filed before the Department of Justice (DoJ) this morning, a petition asking the Office for Competition to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

FDC

Executive Order No. 45 series of 2011 has designated the Department of Justice as the Competition Authority in the country. Created under this EO was the Office for Competition which can receive any form of complaint as a basis for inquiry or further study on possible violations of laws prohibiting cartelization, monopolies, or combinations in restraint of trade as defined in competition laws.

The petitioners availed of this remedy after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), with neither public hearings nor conduct of probe into allegations of market abuse, approved en toto the amount of P4.15/kWh that Meralco can recover from its purchase of power this month due to the scheduled shutdown of Malampaya natural gas platform.

Signatories to the letter/petition include Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Barry Gutierrez, Representative Raymund Mendoza of Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, economist Maitet Diokno of the Center for Power Issues and Initiatives, Wilson Fortaleza of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and NAGKAISA, and Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) President Ricardo Reyes.

These groups and individuals were involved in campaigns on the power issue prior to and after the passage of the Electric Power Reform Act or EPIRA. They maintain that the unabated increase in power rates, market concentration and the threat of another power crisis were the results of EPIRA which for the past eleven years produced nothing but escalating rates and diminishing power supply.

In particular, the petitioners pointed to possible collusions by Meralco, First Gas Power Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, Kepco Philippines, Aboitiz Power, Team Energy Corporation, AES Philippines and DMCI Holdings, Incorporated when their plants went into simultaneous and unscheduled shutdown resulting to more load deficits in the Luzon grid and which forced Meralco to buy a more expensive power from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market or WESM.

“The expected and scheduled maintenance of Malampaya notwithstanding—an event Meralco was aware of more than six months before its occurrence—and Meralco’s claim that such was not anticipated, and the unscheduled shutdown of several power plants that resulted to Meralco’s recourse to expensive electricity from the WESM, are information that point to a contrived scenario of extreme short-term shortage of electricity for the purpose of raising the price of electricity beyond what it would cost to generate it,” said the petitioners.

The petitioners bewailed that the increase in electricity costs can only add to the economic burden of end-users and consumers who, at a time when the whole nation is reeling from the brunt of Typhoon Yolanda and in anxious anticipation of the holiday season, face increases in prices of basic commodities like liquefied petroleum gas, Metro Rail Transit fares and the like.

The group vowed to escalate their campaign for the overhaul of EPIRA next year.

Press Release
December 16, 2013

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[Campaign] switch off the Christmas lights -PM

switch off the Christmas lights -PM

switch off the Christmas lights -PM

switch off the Christmas lights -PM

Partido ng Manggagawa

Kapag manggagawa ang humingi ng dagdag sweldo, pahirapan pang ibigay ang P10.

Kapag power cartel ang nagsabing magtataas ang presyo, walang kibo ang gubyerno. Ang P4.15/kWh na dagdag singil ng Meralco ay dagdag P830 sa may konsumong 200 kWh kada buwan. Ang dating P12/kWh na singil ay magiging P16/kWh na, na siyang pinakamataas na presyo ng kuryente sa buong mundo.

Kaya hindi sapat ang magalit. Kailangang magprotesta.

pmLogo1

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[In the news] ‘Napocor-Meralco deal will result in power rate hike’ – www.philstar.com

‘Napocor-Meralco deal will result in power rate hike’
By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) ruling upholding the legality of the P14-billion agreement between the National Power Corp. (Napocor) and the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will be harmful to consumers who carry the burden of any increase in power rates.

It was on this premise that Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao cast a dissenting vote in the decision of the special division of the appellate court that gave the go-signal for the implementation of the deal, which is expected to cost Meralco costumers an additional 12 centavos per kilowatt-hour over five to six years.

In his nine-page dissenting opinion, Dimaampao favored the bid of the government through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to stop the Pasig City regional trial court from implementing its order affirming the validity of the settlement claim that was forged in 2003 and in further proceeding in connection with Meralco’s civil suit.

Dimaampao penned last February a resolution, which issued a writ of preliminary injunction, indefinitely enjoining the implementation of the settlement.

Dimaampao said in his dissent that “with all due respect, the thesis taken by the majority is fallacious. In a word, I cannot turn a blind eye to the manifest glitch in the majority ruling.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

[Event] Protest rally to smash light-bulbs on NAPOCOR SEAL – SANLAKAS

SANLAKAS-
MEDIA ADVISORY

PROTEST RALLY TO SMASH

LIGHT-BULBS ON NAPOCOR SEAL

(to symbolize the growing anger of the basic masses

against high electricity rates in the country)

10:30 a.m.  TOMORROW
(September 30,2011)

@

NAPOCOR
(Quezon Avenue corner BIR Road, Q.C.)

SANLAKAS ASSEMBLY AREA (at 9:30a.m.):
Bantayog ng mga Bayani entrance
(between Centris Mall and NAPOCOR along Quezon Ave.)

Photo-ops gimmick available!
*For more information please contact:  Mr.  RASTI  DELIZO
(Spokesperson of SANLAKAS) @ 0999-8092461
or Gina Flores (Sanlakas Media Liaison) @ 09228761086


SANLAKAS
115-D Roosevelt Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. No. (63) 415-9400

[Press Release] Meralco at munisipyo ng Valenzuela, nilusob ng mga maralita para igiit ang karapatang makabitan ng linya ng kuryente

Galit na nilusob ng may 500 pamilya na kabilang sa Valenzuela Informal Settlers Federation (VISFED) ang tanggapan ng Meralco sa may Barangay Malanday, Valenzuela dahil hanggang sa ngayon ay hindi pa rin natutugunan ang matagal na nilang kahilingan na makabitan ng linya ng kuryente.

Ayon kay Blanda Martinez, pangulo ng VISFED, ilang taon na nilang hiniling sa Meralco na kabitan sila ng linya ng kuryente at naihanda na nga nila ang lahat ng requirement para dito pero hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin ito naaksyunan.

Kabilang sa mga nagprotesta ang mga homeowners association mula sa Chengville, Promiseland, Wawang Pulo, Bagong Nayon, TS Natividad at Assumptionville na matatagpuan sa Barangay Malinta at Barangay Veinte Reales sa lungsod ng Valenzuela.

“Alam namin na kahit kami ay mahirap, karapatan namin na magkaroon hindi lang linya ng kuryente kundi pati ang abot-kayang halaga ng kuryente,” pahayag ni Martinez.

Kung wala umanong koneksyon ng kuryente, apektado maging ang pag-aaral ng mga bata, mas mabigat ang mga gawaing bahay,  at mas malabo ang pag-unlad.

Dagdag pa ni Martinez, “nababalot umano ng kababalaghan” ang mga nangyayari sa branch ng Meralco sa Valenzuela dahil kahit sa kabila ng kanilang compliance sa mga requirements, kabilang ang ability to pay, ay hindi pa rin sila nakakabitan.  Iniutos narin umano ni Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian na kabitan ng kuryente ang naturang mga pamilya pero wala pa ring nangyari.

Ayon naman kay Partido ng Manggagawa (PM-Valenzuela) spokesman Emmanuel Grefalda na silang tumutulong sa VISFED, nagdududa umano ang mga informal sectors na may sabwatang nagaganap sa pagitan ng Meralco, Urban Poor Affair Office, at Engineering Office ng Valenzuela na hindi kabitan ng kuryente ang sinumang hindi dadaan sa kanilang mga kamay.

Matapos nga ang rally sa Meralco ay dumiretso ang VISFED sa cityhall ng Valenzuela para duon ipagpatuloy ang kanilang protesta.

Sinabi pa ni Grefalda na hindi sila titigil sa protesta hangga’t hindi natutugunan ang kanilang karaingan.

Makikilahok pa nga raw ito sa magaganap na National Day of Protest sa darating na Oktubre 11 laban sa mataas na presyo ng kuryente at pagpapatigil sa pribatisasyon na pangungunahan naman ng Freedom from Debt Coalition.

Valenzuela Informal Settlers Federation (VISFED)
Partido ng Manggagawa-Valenzuela
20 September 2011

[Press Release] SANLAKAS padlocks MERALCO gate to protest increase in power rates

Stop meralco’s greed!
Prioritize public needs first
before profits for a few!

The Left coalition SANLAKAS conducted a protest rally this morning in front of a Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) office in Quezon City. Around eighty (80) mass activists of SANLAKAS picketed MERALCO’s Kamuning branch to partly express the general public’s opposition to the constant overpricing of power rates by the country’s largest power distributor.

During their protest action, the militant group attempted to symbolically ‘padlock and chain’ the main entrance door of the MERALCO office with a giant padlock-chain held by the activists. This dramatic action, which was led by Rasti Delizo, the SANLAKAS Spokesperson, and Flora Santos, who heads the activist organization’s National Organizing Department, was a symbolism of the growing anger of the basic masses. As they did this, the rest of the group’s activists conducted a ‘mass-die-in’ (a group lie-down) as they chanted slogans against MERALCO’s greedy profiteering methods.

According to Delizo, “SANLAKAS totally opposes the never-ending schemes of MERALCO to always make quick greedy profits through constant overpricing in collusion with its puppet government agency, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).  This joint ‘Profits-first Corporatocratic Alliance’ is certainly a national weapon of mass destruction to permanently ensure the economic-social hardship of the majority of our poor masses who depend on a daily power supply in order to live decent and humane lives.”

The SANLAKAS Spokesperson further said, “With a looming national economic predicament reinforced by the current global capitalist crisis, our country’s poor masses cannot afford to remain passive. We must urgently unite to fight the Philippine State’s pro-neoliberal laws, such as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) which privatizes the entire power industry. This fundamentally sacrifices the common good by ensuring private profits over the people’s general welfare. We must immediately put a stop to this by exposing MERALCO’s greed, apply national mass pressure to end MERALCO’s anti-poor elitist economic agenda, and to replace the EPIRA with a new power sector legal framework that basically ensures electricity-consumers’ control of our country’s power setup.”

Before self-dispersing, SANLAKAS called on the general public to support the Freedom from Debt Coalition’s (FDC)-initiated ‘National Day of Protest’ against increasing power-rates and to repeal the EPIRA law. This national campaign will culminate on October 11, 2011 through simultaneous coordinated ‘Power-off’ actions (a temporary shutdown of electricity in pre-selected areas and communities) nationwide from 7:30-8p.m. on that date. -30-

*For more information, please contact Mr. RASTI DELIZO
(SANLAKAS Spokesperson) @ cellphone#:  0999-8092461