Duterte urged to order review of all power deals with generation firms
MANILA — House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Isagani Zarate on Wednesday called on President Rodrigo Duterte to order the review of all power supply agreements (PSA) that power utilities entered into to see if they are the best deals for local consumers.
Zarate made the call as the Luzon grid is placed on yellow power alert for the second straight day, stressing this situation could mean an increase in electricity costs just like what happened last month.
“President Duterte should immediately order the review of the PSAs of these generation companies as well as those in the works, like the seven midnight deals of Meralco-related companies, chief among which is the Atimonan One power plant,” he said.
Zarate said that “an additional P1.80 per kilowatt-hour will burden power consumers once Meralco passes on the escalating construction cost of its subsidiary, Atimonan One Energy Inc. (Atimonan One).”
The congressman warned that the reported P15 billion additional cost of Atimonan One’s interest on loans and increased cost of imported equipment would translate to a P1.80 per kwh increase in capacity cost, raising the plant’s power rate to P7.46/ kwh.
“This would be exorbitant compared to other players who offer electricity for as low as P2.95/kwh,” Zarate pointed out.
Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares, meanwhile, said that President Duterte should also review the missionary charges that are being passed on to consumers.
“In the off-grid islands not connected to the national grid, most of the power generation use expensive diesel and bunker fuel that costs P12 to P15 per kwh that the island communities cannot afford to pay. The government charges the consumers only P5.80 to P6.00 per kwh and pays the difference as missionary subsidies which in turn it charges to the national electric users of about P0.15 per kwh. We therefore cannot understand why the average subsidy in Marinduque is 12.44 to 22.65 per kwh and in Occidental Mindoro it is P15.91 to 19.98 per kwh,” Colmenares said.
Pinapasa na nga sa national electric users tapos ang taas pa ng singil sa mga taga-island provinces. Dapat talagang mabusisi ito dahil mukhang may malaking kumikita dito (It is being passed on to electric users but the rates are still high for those in the island provinces. This should be investigated because it seems like there’s someone profiting from this),” he added.