Trillanes wants Senate to probe Meralco power rate hike
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV also wants the Senate to look into the biggest power rate hike that Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will impose for three months starting this December.
In filing Senate Resolution No. 41, Trillanes urged the chamber to investigate what he described as “big-time” and “record increase” in electricity cost by Meralco.
“It is incumbent upon the Senate, through the Senate committee on energy and other appropriate Senate committees, to protect public interest and safeguard the rights of consumers from alleged unjust financial burden and abuse of the law, especially at a time when the country is still reeling from a string of natural and man-made catastrophes,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
The proposed rate hike, the senator said, was contrary to the purpose of Republic Act No. 9136 or the EPIRA Law, which was enacted in 2001 to implement reforms in the energy sector, including assurance of the quality, reliability, security and affordability of the supply of electric power in the country.
“Added to this problem are the reports of the alleged collusion among power plants and the unusual number of power outages during the Malampaya shutdown which put into question the validity of the said proposal,” Trillanes said.
The Energy Regulatory Commission approved Monday a three-month installment plan starting this month for the biggest ever rate increase of P4.15 per kilowatt-hour by Meralco.
The first and biggest tranche of P2.41 KWh will be reflected in bill this December, P1.21 KWh in February, P0.53 KWh in March.
The rate increase was due to the maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas field from November 11 to December 10, prompting Meralco’s supplier power plants (Sta. Rita, San Lorenzo and Ilijan) to use fuel that is more expensive.