Duterte urged to review power supply deals | Inquirer News
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Duterte urged to review power supply deals

By: - Correspondent / @melvingasconINQ
/ 05:14 AM November 29, 2019

President Duterte must step in and review the power supply agreements (PSA) entered into by the country’s power utilities, as supply in the Luzon grid sagged for the second straight day on Thursday, a party list representative said.

“What is happening now is that consumers are always at the losing end since the power status has been on ‘yellow alert,’ which would be tantamount to another impending increase in electric bills,” said Bayan Muna party list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.

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Zarate urged Mr. Duterte to order regulatory bodies and responsible agencies to review all the deals that power utilities have entered into and check if these are serving the interest of Filipino consumers.

He was referring to seven “midnight” PSAs that the Manila Electric Co. had entered into with allegedly “related” firms including the Atimonan One Energy Inc. power plant in Quezon province.

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Zarate said an additional P1.80 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) would burden consumers once Meralco passes on the escalating construction cost of its subsidiary, Atimonan One.

He  warned that the reported P15-billion additional cost of Atimonan One’s interest on loans and increased cost of imported equipment would translate to a P1.80-per-kWh increase in capacity cost, raising the plant’s power rate to P7.46 per kWh.

“This would be exorbitant compared to other players’ offer of P2.95/kWh,” he said.

Zarate expressed doubt over the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines’ statement that the downswing in the Luzon grid’s power supply was caused by power plants breaking down at the same time, and said this was the “same alibi they have been citing since 2012.”

Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares also asked the President to review the “missionary charges” that power utilities have been passing on to consumers, saying such charges have caused electricity rates to increase yearly.

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TAGS: Manila Electric Co., power supply agreement, President Duterte
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