Bayan Muna reps urge probe of gov’t contracts with power companies

Aileen Cerrudo
Bayan Muna representative Carlos Zarate

Bayan Muna representative Carlos Zarate is urging President Rodrigo Duterte to also probe into the power industry and the government contracts with power companies.

“The constant threat of thinning power supply and brownouts in exchange for higher power rates or more onerous power supply agreements have been the bane of consumers for decades,” Zarate said in a statement.

The government continues to resolve the issues of onerous contracts with water concessionaires, Maynilad and Manila Water.

Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares said it is not right for generation companies to pass their losses to consumers.

“May kontrata sila to deliver electricity to the public pero hindi nila naibigay. Kung nasira ang boiler o anumang problema, kargo nila dapat. Huwag nilang ikarga sa aming consumers (They have a contract to deliver electricity to the public but they were not able to provide it. If the boiler broke or if there are any other problems, they should carry that burden, not the customers),” he said.

He added that the Electric Power Industry Reform (EPIRA) should also be amended.

Colmenares said that since 2001, power rates increased by 100% including longer power interruptions, and periodic yellow and red alerts in the power supply.

Meanwhile, Zarate said the monopoly of private generation companies should be stopped.

“A true nationalized comprehensive power plan with the government spearheading construction of its own power plants would not only ensure the power rate remain low but would also guard against power oligarchs again trying to push down onerous deals at the expense of the people,” Zarate said.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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