RP Labor Group Slams Looming Power Rate Increase

August 14, 2007 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 14 Aug) – A Filipino labor group, Kilusang Mayo Uno, has criticized Tuesday another petition of the Manila Electric Company for a new increase in power rates.

MERALCO has filed a petition with the Energy Regulatory Council (ERC) to once again increase rates on electricity, but the KMU said a new hike in power rates will also add new burden to consumers.

“Prices of electricity in the Philippines is one of the highest in Asia that is why MERALCO posted a PhP 2.34 billion (USD 51,047,120) profit for the first half of the year, a five fold increase compared to PhP 367 million (USD 8,006,108) of the same period last year.”

“Ordinary consumers and even business are already reeling from the high rates, but MERALCO wants to further bleed us dry,” Elmer Labog, KMU national chairman, said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

Labog said recent floods and drought in the country have resulted in increased prices of basic commodities while wages of workers remain very low. “The Department of Trade and Industry recorded price increase in rice, vegetables and milk and with another round of increase in electricity, life will be more miserable for ordinary Filipinos,” he said.

“Any monetary reimbursement made to the public by MERALCO due to theirillegal billing under the Purchased Power Adjustment (PPA) is being recovered through other charges imposed on the consumer, like System Loss and Transmission charges. They gave us back our finger but MERALCO wants our whole arm in return,” he said.

The KMU is asking Congress for a Php 125 daily increase in wages to compensate for the “never-ending” increase of prices of commodities.

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