Category Archives: Power Issues

Sentro formally endorses Leni, Walden, Akbayan after MOA signing

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MORE than a week after declaring its support during the International Women’s Day rallies, Sentro formally endorsed vice-presidential candidate Leni Robredo, independent senatorial aspirant Walden Bello and the Akbayan party-list following the recent signing of their respective memorandum of agreements (MOAs) with the national labor center.

Signed last March 19 during separate meetings on the sidelines of the Sentro 4th General Council confab in Quezon City, the MOA binds the parties upon signing to “jointly and steadfastly promote and pursue (Sentro’s) labor and other social advocacies,” which were enumerated in the documents.

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Included here are the general labor and social agenda drafted by Sentro, each with still specific items, such as promoting secure and quality jobs as well as “green” jobs; living wage; social protection and services; strengthening trade union, political and human rights; refiling of certain significant bills that were blocked or rejected or set aside in the past Congresses; and filing other proposed laws and policies that will truly benefit the basic sectors, and ensure national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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More comprehensive and updated Sentro priority legislative and executive agenda were presented to Akbayan, such as on various international and national issues affecting the working people; asset reforms; sustainable employment; living wage, social wage and restructuring the wage determination system; strengthening trade union rights; Labor Code reforms; issues of specific groups of workers; working women’s priority agenda; socialized housing; and institutionalizing workers’ representation.

Some of the top proposed laws that the endorsed candidates will support in the legislative and executive branches of the government are the pending or blocked bills on Security of Tenure (SOT), Freedom of Information (FOI), Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), Maternity Protection, and Anti-Discrimination.

Meanwhile, although Robredo has agreed to champion Sentro’s labor agenda, there is still an ongoing discussion with her on other important issues and concerns, like Sentro’s vehement opposition to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) forged between the Philippine and US governments.

Each MOA was “individualized” in its introductory paragraphs to cite the achievements and track record of each candidate in the pursuit of the rights and welfare of the people, particularly the workers and other basic sectors, and – since all of them are either current or former legislators – for advancing other “other progressive and nationalist” causes “inside and outside the halls of Congress.”

Black-out in Bicol is collective punishment for the sins of NEA!

Why should the people suffer en masse from sins not of their own making?

This is the reaction of Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) in a statement released after the National Grid Corporation (NGCP) cut off the power supply for the Camarines Sur Electric Cooperative III, Inc.  (CASURECO III, Inc.) two days ago. The NGCP action left some 78,000 consumers of Iriga City and the municipalities of Bato, Baao, Balatan, Bula, Nabua, and Buhi – or what is known as Rinconada – without power up to now.

Both the residential and commercial customers of these towns immediately denounced the forced disconnection last March 30, 2014, saying people and business should not be penalized for the failures of the CASURECO III board of directors as well as the National Electrification Administration (NEA). NEA assumed jurisdiction over the electric cooperative last February 2014 using its “step-in” rights and failed to ensure that the cooperative could pay its bills.

“Grid disconnection is denial of electricity to citizens on a massive scale. It is a ruthless form of collective punishment that is patently unacceptable,” Jun Unay, coordinator of the SENTRO Power Industry Workers’ Council declared.

Unay explained that the guidelines under the Magna Carta for Electricity Consumers was silent on what kind of framework NGCP should follow in implementing grid-scale disconnection that impacts on the right of every consumers, big and small, to enjoy stable and reliable supply of electricity. As such, SENTRO emphasized that under such a situation, the national government is duty-bound to protect the rights and interest of its people rather than leave them captive and helpless in an industry ruled by crooks and oligarchs.

“Government should have a national policy protecting electricity consumers from forced, grid-scale disconnection due to unpaid power bills by their electric cooperatives,” Unay asserted.

While calling on the government to immediately reconnect power in Bicol , SENTRO also called for the establishment of clear guidelines in securing guaranteed labor rights such as job and income security for those affected by new policies being implemented by NEA for both ailing and non-ailing electric cooperatives.

“The government takes over electric cooperatives with the intent of turning them over to private corporations, trampling upon labor and consumer rights in the process,” according to SENTRO National Secretary General Josua Mata.

SENTRO cited the case of Albay Electric Cooperative Inc. (ALECO, Inc.) whose employees were terminated and replaced when San Miguel Energy Corporation (SMEC) took over the electric cooperative in 2014. On the same year, the same happened in Pampanga Electric Cooperative II, Inc. (PELCO II, Inc.) where hundreds of regular employees were also displaced by NEA’s scheme of management contract.

The SENTRO is a national labor center where the unions in CASURECO III, the CASURECO III Employees Union (CEU III) and CASURECO III Supervisory Union

Workers reenact Christ’s ‘present calvaries’

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IN OBSERVANCE of the Lenten season, members of the national labor center Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa staged today in Mendiola Bridge, near Malacañang, a “people’s version” of the Passion Play depicting the many contemporary “crosses” being carried by the workers and the ordinary Filipinos.

Some protesters dressed as Roman soldiers use papier-mâché spears – representing low wages and scarce benefits, contractualization, union-busting practices, unabated price hikes of basic commodities and services, worsening poverty despite GDP “growths,” inefficient and costly public facilities like the MRT-LRT, elite democracy, patriarchy, war in Mindanao, neoliberal policies, etc. – to symbolically pierce and further hurt an actor playing as “Kristong Manggagawa,” a crucified Christ or a suffering worker.

“The Filipinos continue to suffer today under the Aquino government as Christ endured untold suffering under the tyrannical Roman Empire in the past,” Sentro said.

“President Aquino’s Tuwid na Daan has led nowhere for the working class,” Jun Santos, SENTRO campaign officer said. “After 5 years, all we got is worsening inequality,” he added.

The country’s worsening inequality – which Pope Francis called “glaring and scandalous” – is not just the result of low wages, but of a highly discriminatory form of labor regime that allows companies to put a premium on profits rather than the welfare of its workers.

“One of the worst features of today’s capitalism is the rampant use of precarious work. Contractualization and informalization of labor are the most common forms of precarious work,” Santos said. It didn’t help that President Aquino himself violated his commitment to “promote… constitutionally protected rights of workers,” found in his 21-agenda point agenda for labor and employment, by consistently ignoring calls to certify as urgent labor’s demand for the passage of the security of tenure bill or the SOT bill.

“What we need is a radical form of democracy, one where the rights and welfare of the working people, not profits, is at the center of policy making,” Santos declared.

Christ’s passion on the cross should remind us of our responsibility to participate in a historic struggle, to build a better world, one that we truly deserve. “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.”

Power to the People Coalition calls for People’s Resistance Against the Aquino Emergency Power

The passage of the Joint House Resolution 21 giving President Aquino emergency powers at a time when the people are still reeling from typhoon Ruby and despite popular clamor against this Congressional moves—is a blatant disregard of the people’s will and rights. Like thieves in the night, the congressmen passed the resolution which continues to stand on a shaky legal and factual basis, despite protests from various quarters. To this date , Secretary Petilla and even Malacanang miserably failed to justify the need for such power using Section 71 of EPIRA as its legal shield.

This will lead us to doubt the real intentions for the emergency power. The DOE even admitted that the emergency power will not ensure that there will be no power rate hike next year.

One thing is clear though. Private corporations generating power supply for their needs and will be mobilized in the Interruptible Load Program( ILP) of the government will stand to benefit from this emergency power. It is not surprising why the likes of Henry Sy of SM is eager and willing to participate in the said program. The government’s solution to resolve the power crisis means pushing for its pending and new coal power plant projects that face legal and popular opposition, particularly from impacted communities. Therefore, we continue to assert that the proposed measures will only benefit corporate interest and will further violate human rights of the people and destroy the environment.

There is no long-term solution to the perennial power supply crisis and the unending rise in power costs other than for the government to repeal EPIRA, junk the privatization regime, and put under public control the power industry. A decisive component of this is to restore to Government its planning and regulatory powers apart from restructuring ownership of power generation, transmission and distribution in favor of the State and the public.

The Power to the People coalition will never stop and will continue to campaign against this dangerous and destructive emergency power measures of the government. The people need to be vigilant and active in stopping any measure that will lead to their harm and the betrayal of their interests and sovereign will. They should oppose any emergency measure that will ram through dirty and harmful energy projects like the new coal power plants, destroy the environment and exacerbate our climate crisis. We will welcome the year 2015 with continued protest actions if the government will remain intransigent and ride roughshod over the people’s rights and interests and ignore the snowballing public demand for the scrapping of the emergency power and the repeal of EPIRA.

Let this be a warning and a notice to this power-hungry administration.

NO TO EMERGENCY POWER!

REPEAL EPIRA NOW!

NO TO COAL ! YES TO RENEWABLE ENERGY !

Power crisis real, strategic but gov’t doing mere quick fix – labor coalition

The emerging power crisis is a cruel outcome of a bad policy under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) that cannot be resolved by the proposed emergency power President Aquino is seeking from Congress, the labor coalition Nagkaisa said in a statement.

The group said it is not common for ordinary workers to comment on techno-economic aspects of the power industry, but for this coming celebration of Bonifacio Day on November 30, labor will come out loud on this along with other big issues because the high cost of power in the country is making the lives of ordinary workers more miserable.

According to Wilson Fortaleza, spokesperson for Partido Manggagawa (PM) and one of the convenors of Nagkaisa, “this quick-fix solution via an emergency power to address a decade-old problems of escalating rates and diminishing supply reignited labor’s apprehension that once again, a power crisis is being transformed into business opportunity for the private sector.”

Fortaleza was referring to the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) and power contracting being pursued through a joint resolution in Congress that would grant the President emergency powers to address the expected power shortage in 2015.

He said the ILP can be pursued by the Department of Energy (DoE) even without the President exercising emergency powers because it is merely a demand-side management issue and not production of additional generating capacity as required under Section 71 of EPIRA.

“Likewise, the foreign and privately-operated National Grid Corporation must first be made to account for its primary responsibility to secure reliable supply, including sufficient reserve capacities,” argued Fortaleza.

The group explained that the ILP is a mode for utilizing standby power or embedded generating capacity available in several establishments such as malls and commercial buildings. During shortage, their utilization means an x amount of freed megawatt capacity that can be supplied by Meralco to other users.

Fortaleza, however, said that for this alone an emergency power is not needed. So why is Malacanang asking for it? The group can only think of the following scenarios:

– Under the ILP enrollment is voluntary but enrollees will be compensated to incentivize their participation

– But because there is no system currently in place to exactly determine the price of compensation, imposing a universal levy – an x amount per kWh to be charged to consumers take-or-pay – is the most likely scheme.

– Retail electricity suppliers (RES) who already posses contracted capacities under the open access (but which they cannot supply to their contestable market because most of them are also ILP players) will also be compensated.

These, in effect, will result to rate increases. But Fortaleza insists that a take-or-pay levy cannot be charged to consumers under ILP since embedded generation sets were designed or were practically built by industry players to address expected and non-expected outages.

“So why do we have to pay them for that temporary sacrifice? And why will Henry Sy, John Gokongwei and Jaime Ayala charge an x amount per kWh from everyone, including non-mall users?”

The group argued further that the only valid excuse for utilizing emergency powers is when the government goes back to generation, stop industry fraud, and makes a decisive shift to renewable energy and energy democracy.

Labor group wants Petilla’s head for deceiving the Filipino people bigtime over so-called power crisis

A COALITION of 49 labor groups and workers’ organizations called Nagkaisa is demanding President Aquino to immediately fire Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla for deceiving the Filipino people with his manufactured power shortage scenario hitting the entire island of Luzon early 2015.

Officials of the Department of Energy admitted during a congressional hearing that the projected deficit in supply for the coming summer of 2015 is only about 21 to 31 MW, a far cry from the 1,200 MW shortfall trumpeted by Petilla.

“It is now very clear to us that Secretary Petilla took the country for a ride. He bluffed the president, the cabinet, the senators and the congressmen, the business sectors, the labor and consumer groups with his tall tales of thin power reserves to justify emergency powers that entails possible purchase of multi-billion peso generator sets. Mr. Petilla deliberately exposed the country to unnecessary jeopardy that has been discouraging job-creating investments away since he came out with his bogus story in July,” Josua Mata of Sentro-Nagkaisa, one of Nagkaisa convenors said reading Nagkaisa statement.

“This is a grave crime to the Filipino people. The only way for Secretary Petilla to redeem himself, after having been rebuffed by congressmen for his exaggerated numbers on the alleged looming power crisis, is to apologize to the people and submit an irrevocable resignation. If he doesn’t have the delicadeza to do so, we are demanding his head from the president. Either way, the Filipino people does not deserve a reprehensible nincompoop in government,” he added.

“Instead of asking congress to hastily grant him emergency powers, President Aquino should first kick his energy man out for his failure to lead a critical department of the executive,” Wilson Fortaleza, spokesperson of Partido Manggagawa-Nagkaisa.

Fortaleza said Petilla’s main blunder is the absence of policy intervention and the heap of unsound options in addressing the looming power crisis.

Petilla has proposed costly lease agreements from independent power producers to fill up the capacity gap in two years. Another option was to top existing capacities from industries’ embedded generator sets under the Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

“Petilla must go not because power emergency is none existent but also because policy intervention is absent. The president must fire him for deceiving the entire nation including himself as the chief executive and his fellow members of the cabinet,” added Fortaleza.

Another convenor, Louie Corral, executive director of Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagakisa, explained that had the government acted as early as 2011, we could have started building new capacities by building new power plants; forced private power to rationalize their scheduled maintenance shutdowns; optimize the use of every plant especially hydro; and exercised strong regulatory powers to prevent market fraud.

Yet these options, Fortaleza said, can still be utilized right now as these powers are present under DOE’s mandate, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the Office of the President, and Congress under the Joint Congresional Power Commission (JCPC).

“The only time we will support emergency powers is when the government finally decides to take over the whole industry with the utmost objectives of bringing down the price and securing a sustainable power supply not only for present needs but also for the next generations to come,” concluded Corral.

The Nagkaisa is a coalition of labor unions and workers’ organizations who band together three years ago to advance security of tenure, reduce the price of electricity, empower public sector workers and improve workers living wage. The members of the coalition are the Alliance of Free Workers (AFW) All Filipino Workers Confederation (AFWC), Automobile Industry Workers Alliance (AIWA), Alab Katipunan, Association of Genuine Labor Organizations (AGLO), Associated Labor Unions (ALU), Associated Labor Unions- Association of Professional Supervisory Officers Technical Employees Union (ALU-APSOTEU), ALU-Metal, Associated Labor Unions-Philippine Seafarers’Union (ALU-PSU), ALU-Textile, ALU-Transport, Associated Labor Unions-Visayas Mindanao Confederation of Trade Unions (ALU-VIMCOMTU), Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Association of Trade Unions (ATU), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Confederation of Independent Unions (CIU), Confederation of Labor and Allied Social Services (CLASS), Construction Workers Solidarity (CWS), Federation of Coca-Cola Unions (FCCU), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Kapisanan ng Maralitang Obrero (KAMAO), Katipunan, Pambansang Kilusan sa Paggawa (KILUSAN), Kapisanan ng mga Kawani sa Koreo sa Pilipinas (KKKP), Labor education and Research Network (LEARN), League of Independent Bank Organizations (LIBO), Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN), MARINO, National Association of Broadcast Unions (NABU), National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU), National Mines and Allied Workers Union (NAMAWU), National Association of Trade Unions (NATU), National Confederation of Labor (NCL), National Confederation of Transport Union (NCTU), National Union of Portworkers in the Philippines (NUPP), National Union of Workers in Hotel, Restaurant and Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN), Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA), Pepsi Cola Employees Union of the Philippines (PEUP), Philippine Government Employees Association (PGEA), Pinag-isang Tinig at Lakas ng Anakpawis (PIGLAS), Philippine Integrated Industries Labor Union (PILLU), Philippine Independent Public Sector Employees Association (PIPSEA), Partido Manggagawa (PM), Philippine Metalworkers Alliance (PMA), Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), Philippine Transport and General Workers Organization (PTGWO), SALIGAN, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Workers Solidarity Network (WSN).

Oppose Meralco’s Threat to Trigger Brownouts if TRO is not Lifted! Revoke Meralco’s License and Repeal EPIRA!

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Meralco, the electricity monopoly, threatened its 5.3 million consumers with brownouts if the temporary restraining order (TRO) on its scandalous 4.5 peso per kilowatt hour is not lifted.

The threat was made by Meralco lawyer Victor Lazatin during the Supreme Court hearings on the rate hike on Feb. 4.

Consumers will not tolerate this blackmail.

On the pretext of losing vast amounts of money, this monopoly, which made 17 billion pesos in profits in 2013, is trying to derail the investigation of its role in the suspicious series of events that led to the rate increase. Meralco has put the blame on seven of its power suppliers that went offline when the Malampaya natural gas plant underwent maintenance from Nov. 11 to Dec. 10, 2013, allegedly forcing Meralco to go to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) for its power deficit. But documents submitted to the Supreme Court showed that it was Meralco’s order to a power supplier–Therma Mobile—that it controls to bid at the maximum allowable price of 62 pesos per kilowatt hour no less than 25 times during that period that was responsible for the skyhigh clearing price at WESM.

Meralco gamed the market, to the detriment of its consumers whom it is obligated to supply at the least possible cost. Moreover, Meralco would not have resorted to buying at WESM’s inflated prices had it made provisions for reserve power from its suppliers in the event of a foreseeable event like the Malampaya shutdown. As President Aquino himself has said, ““There is periodic maintenance [of Malampaya] required. That’s a foreseeable event. If you know what producers of fuel will not be able to produce, then you have to find a substitute. So preparation should have been made for foreseeable events.”

But the problem goes beyond Meralco. It goes beyond the Energy Regulatory Commission, which is the classic example of a regulator that is in the pocket of the regulated. It goes beyond the Department of Energy, which has shown itself to be completely incompetent in planning for the energy needs of the country. The main source of the problem lies in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), which has placed power generation, transmission, and distribution completely in the hands of the private sector.

Privatization has resulted in monopoly control, inefficient power delivery, and sky-high prices, not in more efficiency, less concentration, and lower prices. Meralco, whose profits have risen over 100 per cent since EPIRA went into effect in 2001, is a monstrous example of EPIRA’s failure.

13 years of exploiting consumers is enough! We demand the revocation of Meralco’s license and the repeal of EPIRA.

Workers call for reformatting of the power industry

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The power industry needs not just a reboot but a major reformatting to better serve the country’s current and future energy needs and to satisfy the people’s clamour for affordable and sustainable power.

This, according to the labor coalition Nagkaisa, should be the new frame in seeking amendments or replacement to the failed Electric Power Industry Reform Act or EPIRA.

The group made this challenge as some of its leaders attended the Department of Energy’s (DoE) consultations on EPIRA amendments while its members called for the law’s scrapping in a demonstration held outside the Legends Hotel in Mandaluyong City.

“A bad law like EPIRA may need some amendments to address the current mess. But a wrong policy such as wholesale privatization can only be addressed by replacing it with a new one, a better one,” stated Josua Mata, one of the convenors of Nagkaisa.

Mata, who is also the secretary general SENTRO, told the DoE that workers will engage the amendment process in Congress and at the same time work for its replacement when such is probable amid the incurability of EPIRA and the viability of other options.

Another convenor, Louie Corral of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), said amendments are necessary on issues of cross-ownership; the generation being a ‘non-public’ utility, reforms in the ERC (composition and rate-setting methodology); privatization of the transmission system and the Agus-Pulangi hydro complexes in Mindanao; retail competition and open access; and on electric cooperatives, among others.

It can be recalled that in a petition letter submitted to President Aquino during the Labor Day celebration of 2012, Nagkaisa raised the following issues to the Executive, some of these require legislative actions:

1. Removal of oil and power from EVAT coverage; 
2. Stopping the indexation of/or pegging the prices of natural gas and geothermal steam to international prices of oil and coal; 
3. Stopping the ERC’s implementation of Performance Based Rate (PBR) methodology as this allows power firms to increase rates in anticipation of future expansion and other capital expenditures; and, 
4. Reforming the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

The group also bats for the re-nationalization of the transmission lines and the permanent stay in the planned privatization of the Agus-Pulangi.

Partido ng Manggagawa spokesperson, Wilson Fortaleza, another convenor said the country and the people will not accept another 13 years of failed rule under EPIRA.

“It’s time to rethink and come up with a new model of public power that is completely different from what the industry is, before and under EPIRA. Fortunately we are blessed with so much national potential to do that. It is only the government that thinks it can’t be done without the prescribed track imposed by the ADB and World Bank,” said Fortaleza.

Workers ask Senate to declare EPIRA a failure

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With the committee on energy resuming its probe on the spike in Meralco rate today, the labor coalition Nagkaisa, pressed the Senate as a whole to declare the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) a failure and consider crafting a new policy framework for sustainable energy and energy democracy.

The group, which held another picket outside the Senate building, said that unless there is a declaration to that effect, public hearings and investigations will offer no material relief to consumers.

Nagkaisa explained that since 2008, consumer groups have attended, submitted position papers, and argued against the ills of EPIRA before committee hearings of both houses of Congress, including those conducted by the powerful Joint Congressional Power Committee (JCPC). Yet no actions were made to address those concerns.

“Public hearings end with another scheduled hearing then nothing happens until another controversy arises. Workers are really tired of wishy-washy intervention on a social problem of this scale,” Nagkaisa said, referring to the crises of escalating power rates and diminishing supply.

Nagkaisa asserted that since the enactment of EPIRA which led to the deregulation of the generation of generation sector, privatization of Napocor assets, creation of the spot market, and the introduction of performance-based regulation. Fraud became the norm in the power industry as shown by rising prices and cartelization.

The group reminded the Senate that in 2008, Senator Miriam Santiago who chaired the JCPC then stated in her opening remarks in one of JCPC’s public hearings that EPIRA is a failure; the Senate is a failure as well as the Executive.

“That is seven years ago and the people will not accept another decade of unrewarding probes to a mess that has been there since day one of the implementation of EPIRA,” said the group.

Nagkaisa has been protesting the power hikes which they believed were caused by flawed policies under EPIRA.

Workers to ‘gods of Faura’: Stop power firms’ blackmail, fraud

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While politicians and businessmen have joined President Aquino for the National Day of Prayer and Solidarity to the victims of natural and man-made calamities, workers in Metro Manila belonging to the labor coalition Nagkaisa, trooped to the Supreme Court to seek relief and ultimate deliverance from unjust power rate hikes.

The fifteen (15) justices, also known as ‘The gods of Faura’, were set to hear oral arguments tomorrow on several petitions seeking injunctions to Meralco’s P4.15/kWh rate increase. Prime in the agenda to resolve are questions on whether or not the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) committed grave abuse of discretion in approving Meralco rate hike; whether or not automatic rate adjustment is valid; and whether or not the generation sector is not a public utility and therefore beyond regulation by ERC, among others.

“We pray that the justices deliver us from a decade-old fraud and industry blackmail,” said Nagkaisa in a statement released during their picket at the gates of the Supreme Court building. The group was referring to frauds committed under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), including the latest allegations on collusion and market abuse among power firms and the latter’s threat of rotating blackouts had they fail to collect rate increases.

Nagkaisa asserted that since the enactment of EPIRA which led to the deregulation of the generation of generation sector, privatization of Napocor assets, the creation of spot market, and the introduction of performance-based regulation, fraud became the norm in the power industry as shown by rising prices and cartelization.

“It is no secret that owners of power firms, the so-called Voltage 5 (Aboitiz, Lopez, San Miguel, Henry Sy, and Pangilinan) have been earning record high profits from record high tariffs of their power-related firms,” said Nagkaisa.

The labor coalition recalled that lowering the cost of power was the pledge of the Arroyo administration when it prodded Congress to pass the EPIRA upon assumption to power 13 years ago today.

Nagkaisa explained further that since 2008, many of its convenor groups have attended, submitted position papers, and argued against the ills of EPIRA before committee hearings of both houses of Congress, including those conducted by the powerful Joint Congressional Power Committee (JCPC). Yet no actions were made to address those concerns.

It likewise chided the Executive for peddling the line that the only choice for now is between expensive power, or having no power at all.

“We hope the Supreme Court brings light to a dark decade of power hikes, naked greed, and blackmail amid unreliability of power supply,” concluded Nagkaisa!