SC asked to extend TRO on Meralco rate hike
MANILA, Philippines—The Makabayan bloc from the House of Representatives on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to extend the 60-day restraining order against the P4.15 per kilowatthour power-rate increase.
In an 11-page motion, the group led by Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Javier Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate told the high court that once the restraining order has lapsed on the 21st, its first impact would be inflation.
“Because the Meralco franchise covers Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon, the economic hub of the largest manufacturing industries and the site of large factories, the rate hike will add billions to production cost of these manufacturers, fueling a steep rise in the prices of goods and services sold all over the country.
“If the decision to impose this rate hike is later found to be without basis and reversed, the inflation it has triggered and the high prices of goods already paid by the people can never be reversed or ‘reimbursed,'” the motion stated.
Also, they said if the record high P4.15 power rate adjustment will be implemented, not only the poor but the middle-income groups “will certainly find it had to meet this steep price increase.”
The group also blasted Meralco’s threats of brownouts if the restraining order is extended.
They said the Department of Energy (DOE) publicly announced that there is enough electricity supply.
“Any threat of brownout, therefore, is not based on the insufficiency of supply. It is nothing more than threatening the people for the people’s exercise of their constitutional right to due process and remedies before this honorable court,” they further stated.
The high court has concluded the oral argument last Tuesday.
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