Mindanao blames power woes on Epira
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines—The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) has caused the government to lose control of the power industry, which is why private businesses can now raise power rates any time they choose, an energy watch group said Saturday.
This is the main reason the Power Alternative Agenda (Palag)-Mindanao wants the Epira law amended, if not totally scrapped, said Jong Cadion of Palag.
Cadion said that unless the Epira law was scrapped or amended, it would never be possible to return control of the power industry to the government.
“Power rates will continue to accelerate and that will surely affect not just the individual family but it will also continue to undermine the economic advantage of Mindanao,” he said.
The Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, which liberalized and privatized the power industry, was aimed at bringing down power rates and improving the delivery of supply through greater competition and efficiency.
However, more than a decade after the law’s enactment, high electricity rates and power outages, particularly in Mindanao, continue to be the lot of consumers.
Various consumer and activist groups have called for the repeal of Epira and the return of government regulation over the power industry to protect consumers and ensure affordable energy.
Recently, power coops in Mindanao said consumers would have to pay more beginning July as they would be using modular generator sets to address the “power woes” brought about by the declining water level in Lake Lanao.
Lake Lanao is the source of the Agus hydropower system, which accounts for the bulk of the electricity feeding into the Mindanao grid.
The lake’s declining water level has also prompted the National Power Corp., the state generator, to implement a Mindanao-wide load curtailment scheme, which has caused daily power outages of up to eight hours in some areas.
In this city, the Iligan Light and Power Co. (ILPC) said that while it will not be using modular generator sets it also has to raise power rates—by about P3 per kilowatt hour—because of the added costs from the electricity supply contract it has with two companies operated by Alsons Consolidated Resources.
Keenan Erigbuagas, ILPC customer services supervisor, explained that the distribution utility has had to buy more electricity from other providers because of the supply deficiency.—Tito Fiel
Inquirer calls for support for the victims in Marawi City
Responding to appeals for help, the Philippine Daily Inquirer is extending its relief to victims of the attacks in Marawi City
Cash donations may be deposited in the Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860.
Inquiries may be addressed to Inquirer’s Corporate Affairs office through Connie Kalagayan at 897-4426, email@example.com and Bianca Kasilag-Macahilig at 897-8808 local 352, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For donation from overseas:
Inquirer Foundation Corp account:
Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860
Swift Code: BNORPHMM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.