Bayan Muna renews call for independent bidding of Meralco contracts
MANILA, Philippines — Warning of possible high electricity rates, Bayan Muna on Wednesday renewed its call for an independent bidding of Meralco’s supply contracts.
While Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares welcomed Meralco’s move to revise the terms of reference (TOR) for the bidding of its 1,200-megawatt supply requirement in the next 20 years, he continued his call for the Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure that the power company will not limit the bidding participants to Meralco-owned generation companies.
“We hope that the new TOR responds to our call for truly open and competitive bidding by allowing, for example, brownfield or existing power plants, which can offer lower prices, to bid,” Colmenares said in a statement.
Under the old TOR
Colmenares said that under the old bidding terms, Meralco demanded that only new or greenfield generation plants that would operate in 2024 were qualified to bid.
“This demand practically disqualified all other bidders because only Meralco has a greenfield plant that will operate in 2024,” Colmenares said.
“This essentially means that no genuine bidding took place as Meralco would be contracting with its wholly-owned subsidiary Atimonan One Energy Inc.,” he added.
If the bidding process pushes through, Colmenares said that there could be “high electricity rates for consumers” which “practically defeats our clamor for Meralco to bid out its supply contracts to bidders that could offer energy supply at lower costs.”
Publish new TOR
Colmenares likewise called on Meralco and the energy department to publicize the new TOR for review.
“We will continue to monitor the revised TOR and will not hesitate to go to the Courts to restrain the bidding if we find that the bidding process still grants Meralco the opportunity for self-dealing and sweetheart deals that would increase electricity rates,” Colmenares said.
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