Zarate

High power rates in PH scare off investors — solon

October 22, 2021 People's Tonight 366 views

BAYAN Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate slammed anew the latest power rate hike this October, saying the Philippines is scaring off investors due to the high cost of electricity.

“Talaga namang napakamahal ng koryente dito more than dun sa sinasabi nilang rason na mataas ang labor cost dito. I don’t think that is the real reason, ‘yung reason talaga kaya ayaw pumunta ng mga investors dito ay ang napakamahal na koryente,” said Zarate in an interview.

“For as long as hindi talaga maipababa ‘yan, ‘yan talaga ang magpu-pull down sa pag-bounce back ng ating economy. However, you will entice investors to come in ‘yung nga inaasahan mong mga investors at maghahanap sila kung saan mas favorable sa kanilang atmosphere… ‘yan ang sinasabi lagi ng mga investors kaya hindi ganoon ka-competitive ang Pilipinas,” Zarate added.

The Bayan Muna solon appealed to Meralco to be a responsible corporation and take into consideration consumers’ burdens amid the pandemic.

He added that Meralco could delay or absorb the so-called ‘pass on charges’ without losing profit.

“Itong mga pag-increase ngayon na sinasabi ng Meralco na, for example na pass on charges, puwede i-absorb ito ng Meralco, hindi naman ito magreresulta sa pagkalugi ng Meralco… In fact, almost monopoly na ang kanyang franchise area, even despite pandemic, nabalitaan ba natin na nalugi ang Meralco, siguro medyo nabawasan ang profit pero profitable pa rin siya but compared to ordinary Filipinos, for example, napakalaki ng nawala sa kanila during pandemic, so ang ating panawagan paulit-ulit sa Meralco na puwede nilang i-delay o i-absorb na ‘yan,” stressed Zarate.

“Ang counter argument naman natin diyan napakaraming generation companies na pinagkukunan ng Meralco ng kanyang supply at mga sister companies if not 100 percent owned at least partially owned ng Meralco. So, ito rin ‘yung nagpapasa ng napakalalaking generation cost na eventually pinapasan ng ating mga consumer at napalaking challenge din ito sa Department of Energy dahil ang DOE and even the regulatory commission itong ganitong pagtaas ng bayarin sa koryente parang nangyayari na nga ito eh, sinasamantala pa sa pandemya,” he added.

Meralco earlier announced a P0.0283 per kilowatt-hour power rate hike this month as a result of higher transmission charge.

This is equivalent to an extra charge of P5.66 for those consuming 200 kWh, P8.49 for those consuming 300 kWh, and P14.15 for those consuming 500 kWh.

This is the 7th consecutive month that Meralco is implementing a power rate hike.

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