Electricity consumers headed by the alliance People Opposed to Warrantless Electricity Rates (POWER) and AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People trooped to Meralco Generation’s office at the Rockwell Business Center on Tuesday to demand Meralco to abandon the 7 “midnight deals” or the anomalous power supply agreements between it and affiliated power generation companies.
“Meralco’s abuse of power is at its peak. With its significant shares in the generation companies, Meralco practically owns and controls the affiliated power generation companies in question. This extent of control in the generation up to the distribution of power will worsen corporate monopoly of the entire supply chain of the energy industry,” said Finesa Cosico, AGHAM Secretary-General.
Last week, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) granted a provisional authority to operate to 4 out of the 7 companies. These are Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. in Subic, Zambales, St. Raphael Power Generation Corp. in Calaca, Batangas, Atimonan One Energy, Inc. in Atimonan, Quezon, and Panay Energy Development Corp. in La Paz, Iloillo.
Included in the companies yet to be approved are Central Luzon Premiere Power Corp. in Pagbilao, Quezon, Global Luzon Energy Development Corp. in Brgy. Luna, La Union, and Mariveles Power Generation Corp. in Mariveles, Bataan.
“The 7 coal plants set to be built under the agreements will tie our hands to a single pollutive source of energy for 20 years. More than this, it will also result to higher electricity rates in the long run as the price of coal continues to surge upwards,” said Cosico.
“The midnight deals are the product of connivance between Meralco and its affiliate power generation companies. This was possible under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act’s (EPIRA) provision on cross ownership which allows private entities to own both generation and distribution utilities, resulting to one or few companies dominating the entire energy industry,” said Cosico.
“The corporate control of the power industry enshrined in EPIRA has allowed private entities such as Meralco to carry out such abuses to the consumers. At the immediate, we demand the cancellation of the 7 agreements between Meralco and its generation companies. We demand the abolition of EPIRA that allows corporations to manipulate the market at the expense of the consumers. We call for the crafting of an alternative energy policy that espouses a pro-people, pro-environment nationalized energy industry geared towards the needs of the country for national development,” ended Cosico.#