Senator calls power generation firms ‘greedy’, announces probe
MANILA, Philippines —The chair of the Senate committee on energy on Wednesday (May 3) called out what he said were unjustified high power generation charges being passed on to consumers despite falling prices of coal, which continues to be the dominant power plant fuel in the Philippines.
Tulfo, in a statement, said the government must step in, accusing power generation companies of excessive charges.
The senator said he spoke with officials of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Department of Energy on Monday to raise his concern over what he said were excessive generation charges.
“Even if the coal was bought for a low price, the sky is the limit when they chop off their gain. It is immoral to add such a profit to the coal they buy. It is time for the government to intervene in the scandalous system of business of these companies,” Tulfo said in Filipino in the statement.
Tulfo said he will call for a public hearing of his committee to address the issue.
“The Philippines’ electricity is so expensive because we have long been frying in our own oil because of greedy energy generation companies,” he said in Filipino.
While Tulfo did not name any of the generation companies that he accused of being greedy, he said he was told by ERC Chairman Monalisa Dimalanta at their meeting on Monday that the generation companies’ explanation on prices could not be made public because this was confidential.
Tulfo quoted Dimalanta as saying the ERC had already issued show cause orders requiring the generation firms to heed a request to explain the high generation costs. “Until now, not even a single genco (generation company) complied with ERC’s order,” said Tulfo.
INQUIRER.net has reached out to the ERC for more details but the commission has yet to reply.
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