Tag Archives: Power to the People Coalition

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 !

Revoke Meralco Franchise, Pull the Plug on EPIRA

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On Valentine’s Day, the Power to the People Coalition tell Meralco, “It’s Over.”

Meralco has failed the Filipino people. They promised cheap, widespread access to electricity, yet the only thing they mustered thus far are scandalous electricity rates that they expected ordinary Filipinos to meekly comply with.

Meralco has consistently regarded ordinary Filipino consumers with the heartless, corporate greed for profit. The most recent spike in power rates proved this. Meralco made the absurd argument that it is not responsible for the record-high electricity rates simply because it had no power over the forced outages their power suppliers implemented. It became even more ridiculous when Meralco played the victim by claiming that it had no choice but to source power from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) for the power deficit.

Nothing could be farther away from the truth. Documents submitted to the Supreme Court showed that it was Meralco’s order to power supplier Therma Mobile, which it controls, to bid at the maximum allowable price of P62.00 per kilowatt hour no less than 25 times during that period that was responsible for the skyhigh clearing price at the WESM. In short, Meralco gamed the market to benefit itself and other power producers. By doing so it defrauded its consumers whom it is obligated to supply electricity at the least possible cost.

We belie Meralco’s claims that it was powerless over the simultaneous forced outages of its power producers. The shutdown of Malampaya for maintenance, and the shutdown of two other power plants for the same reason, were all scheduled. Meralco saw it coming, and they took the most convenient and profitable course of action. They chose to sit back, game the power industry, and make consumers pay for it all.

That Meralco systematically abused the Filipino people is but a symptom of the failure of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). We must not forget that EPIRA is the main source of the problem; it put the whole industry under the gang rule of private power – from generation to transmission sectors, all the way to the cooperatives in the distribution sector. Privatization of the power industry has resulted in monopoly control, inefficient power delivery and sky-high prices, in direct contradiction to the promises EPIRA made to attain efficiency and break the monopoly in the electricity industry, and lower power prices. That Meralco’s profits have risen over 100 per cent since EPIRA went into effect in 2001, and that Meralco has the power to game the market at the expense of the people is a monstrous example of EPIRA’s failure.

13 years of Meralco’s greed and EPIRA’s exploitation of power consumers have pushed the people to a deeper level of destitution. To this, we raise our voice and declare that this abusive relations is over.  We call on the government to heed the people’s call: it is high time the government revokes Meralco’s mega-franchise and pulls the plug on EPIRA.