Perspectives Unlimited

September 17, 2009

Electric consumers comment on sale of Agus/Pulangi complexes

Filed under: mindanao,power crisis — gloriavioleta @ 5:14 am

The views in the following are based on the draft policy paper being developed by the Alliance for Consumer Empowerment:

“THE AGUS/PULANGUI HYDROPOWER COMPLEX: GOING A BRIDGE TOO FAR”

Ten years after the passage of the EPIRA, the electricity industry restructuring and privatization of the NPC remain in shambles. Institutions remain compromised even as  power rates in the Philippines are the second highest in Asia next only to Japan, the regulator remains politicized and vulnerable to charges of regulatory capture, competition policy has yielded to rent-seeking among the buyers of the NPC, corruption in the power sector remains camouflaged under the political and economic cover provided by industry “unbundling”, consumer choice is only for the few and the question of universal access to affordable, safe, reliable power has been surrendered to the market with all the vagueries of sweetheart deals, cartels and inside trading. Privatization has opened the floodgates to the most brazen forms of political opportunism and the power sector continues to feed on the wishful thinking of neo-liberals as the driving force of the unfettered greed that operates within.  The ADB and its handmaidens in the NPC and PSALM, continue to myth make and provide cogent reasons for the need to accelrate the pace and scope of privatization.  But like the emperor’s new clothes, current events expose all the wrinkles and warts to the glare of the full sun. Now the privateers in the shadows of the corridors of power, lust as they gaze with experienced eyes on the apex to their takeover ambitions, the crown jewel: the APHC.

The ADB privatization strategy that was translated through the EPIRA, had skirted the political bombshell that is the APHC.  EPIRA had set up a time delay fuse of ten years under the “bridge” on the road to final and full privatization.  Meanwhile, the other “bridges” constituting the other NPC assets all fell to the privatization juggernaut.  Ten years hence, the PSALM and NPC are saying lets push and lay bare the the final bridge.  They argue that the sale of APHC will be the key to lowering the stranded costs and liabilities of the privatization of NPC.  They say that privatizing the APHC is the last building block to the competition strategy envisioned by the planners of the ADB.

But the issues that both the NAPOCOR and the PSALM raise to push the sale are false issues in that they proceed from wrong assumptions: the assumption that the Philippine government has no choice except to undertake an asset sale in privatizing the NAPOCOR and that the proceeds from selling the APHC (Agus Pulangui) are necessary to contain the stranded costs of  NAPOCOR, and the even worse assumption that APHC should even be sold.  We believe that the upcoming debate on the APHC, coming as it does in the heat of an election season, has the potential to be the bridge too far for the ADB, the NPC, and PSALM.  It may serve as the trigger to reexamine the whole subject of the privatization of the NPC, and to revisit the glaring damage wrought through three Philippine Presidents on the Filipino consumer.

A debate with PSALM and the ADB means rejecting the logic of both the ADB and PSALM. It was always for these institutions in insisting that the only way to privatize is to engage in an asset sale (i.e., an asset is sold free from any exisiting financial liability).  The Government and Congress through legislation, could have, and can still insist on a an equity sale (i.e., an asset is sold along or with a portion of its exisiting financial liability).  An equity sale would have given the Government a greater leeway in protecting the interest of consumers and taxpayers.  Instead the Government and Congress played dead and followed the path of least resistance in pushing for an asset sale – selling at a discount, debt-free – these assets.  They (the privateer, PSALM, and NAPOCOR) will counter this argument by saying that selling the assets with their liabilities would have deterred the private sector from buying these power plants and that the privatization of NPC is key to relieving the financial burden that NPC lays on our Governent.  But the truth of the matter is that the privatization of NPC has served as a device to privatize profits and to socialize the liabilities.  You have to remind the privateers that 10 years into NPC privatization that: (a) there has been a continuous spiralling upwards of power rates; (b) that the power of consumer choice has been limited only to those with loads of 1MW and above (that is to say only shopping malls and large commercial and industrial power users have choice as to their power supplier and that they alone, not the captive residential poweruser, are the only ones who enjoy volume discounts from the purchase of electricity).  Meanwhile, we as customers or as taxpayers, absorb the “stranded costs” of NPC, ensuring that the new owners of these assets go laughing all the way to the bank.

Many of the privatized assets  were set up and established through World Bank and Asain Development Bank loans that are now treated as stranded costs for Juan de la Cruz to assume(but the new owners whether Lopez, Aboitiz, Alcantara or Razon acquire these plants Debt-free!).  To add insult to injury, the “take-or-pay” contracts of the IPPs where our Government promises either to “take” what the IPP generates or to “pay” for the same amount, even if the IPP doesn’t generate the power because the givernment doesn’t need it,  was and is still  loaded up as part of the “stranded costs” for consumers or taxpayers to pay for also.  After the Asian Financial Crisis of July 1997. many of these power plants never had to generate power at all (meaning to say that they had almost no costs or expenditures) because the country enjoyed had an excess capacity on paper of anywhere from 4,000 MW to 8.000MW that we were paying for.  Guido Delgado will probabaly justify that by replying that we had to contract expensive energy to get out of our brownouts immediately, that the Asain financial crisis caused a fall in energy demand and that no one can predict the future, and that the Philippine Government should honor their contracts with the IPPs lest we be accused as being “balasubas” or scoundrels.  He will comfort us by saying that these “take or pay” contracts are akin to having a spare tire for the car or a fire extinguisher in the house.  But what about the contractual liability or “word of honor” of these IPPs?  Many set up plants that could not meet their contracted or “promised” capacity (but which the Philippine Government paid them for and which we continue to pay them for even now), even without constructing their promised capacity many enjoyed guarantees from government to buy 120% (note: not 100%) of their supposed capacity, a few did not even operate but which still earned mllions of pesos through arbitrage (they were buying cheaper power from NPC and selling it to customers such as PEZA with a huge mark-up).Certainly our house does not require 15 expired fire extinguishers or our car need 15 overpriced substandard spare tires.

While no one can predict the future, it is also true that both engineers and accountants know the nature of electiricity:  You can’t keep it in a warehouse when demand is low and bring out the supply when the demand peaks.  Electricity is subject to the law of physics, and  legal constructs such as “take or pay” are mere inventions to ensure the maximum profit recovery of the IPP owners.  We have always believed that the EPIRA was not necessary to privatize NP.  But the EPIRA was needed by the privateers to ensure that the liabilities of NPC would be absorbed by both the taxpayer or consumer.  The EPIRA also would lay down the legal fiction that the generation sector, and that includes APHC, would not be considered, by definition of the new law as a “utility”.  The latter was done to ensure that the generation sector would not be subject to the public utilities law which mandates that a utility cannot exceed 12% RORB.  Not being subject to the ROI ceiling the Generation sector can now make as much profit – as so-called “competition” or cartels/or sweetheart deals – depending on your view – will allow.

The PSALM would have us accept the perspective that the sale of APHC is key to lowering the NPC;s stranded costs which consumers will eventually absorb.  And yet when the EPIRA was passed in June 26, 2001, we were all made to believe that the total NPC stranded costs were PHP 550Biliion.  Congress ensured that roughly one-half of this amount would be absorbed through the appropriations process over a period of ten years.  The other one-half was passed on to the consumers as the infamous PPA.  The resulting consumer outcry caused the Government to bury the PPA under the rug:  they supposedly “unbundled” rates so that consumers would be able to transparently determine what they were paying for exact to the last cetavo. But unbundling really just served to camouflage and disguise what was the PPA (Note: unbundling was supposed to be a revenue neutral exercise, but somehow the ERC allowed a multiplier formula in that also brought up all the now segregated components of the final rates).  As early as then, we were already warning that the consulting groups valuating the assets of the NPC for eventual sale were in a potential conflict-of-interest position as they were not barred from participating in the actual bidding process.  We were of the view that there was a very real danger that there would be an overvaluation of the liabilities (which taxpayers and consumers will pay for according to EPIRA) and an undervaluation of the assets (we have information that some buyers even have deferred payment arrangements).

Today NPC tells us that their stranded costs and liabilities are now a whopping PhP 992 billion for which they ask a 30 cetavo per kwh increase for the next 25 years.  We thought we had already paid for this. In the light of the dim track record of both the NPC and the PSALM and the shady behavior of the privateers, we strongly suggest that there should be a proper audit with citizen’s participation.  Even as we speak, there are allegations of “silent” profits” among and between the privateers and NPC such as in Naga, Cebu and Dingle, Iloilo.  We apparently have a situation were 49%of the privatized NPC generating assets are owned by the Aboitiz group even as just as half ot the distribution sector is under the Lopez group.  Competition to own is apparently fierce but somehow it is not bringing price relief to consumers.   While EPIRA itself limits cross-ownership among and between the generation, distribution and transmission sectors, the reality of vested interest groups being present across all sectors persists along with allegations of sweetheart deals that ensure the raising of rates as the electricity flows seamlessly (because it is really a natural monopoly) through the now artifically segregated and supposedly separately owned generation, transmission and distribution sectors.   But why are power tariffs skyrocketting?  Why did we sell TRANSCO to Monte Oro Grid (aka Ricky Razon) and National Grid of China for a 25-year concession fee amount which they will recover in only 2 years of operation?  Why doesn’t the so called Wholesale Electricity and Spot Market mechanism work?  There is much that NPC and PSALM will have to explain.  There is also much more investigation work that has to be done in the distribution sector which as of now have not yet factored in their own “stranded costs”.  Indeed if “stranded costs” is mere euphemism for graft and corruption, then perhaps the solution is not to sell Agus and Pulangui but to send someone to jail.

When the debates in the Congress were raging from 1995 to 2001 on the EPIRA, the issue of APHC was a proverbial  “hot potato”.  Your legislators deferred the matter to ten years down the line.  They instinctively knew that APHC was the crown jewel of the NPC.  They instintinctively knew that the power rates be would be jacked up the moment that the APHC was in private hands. And there was the emotional issue of the waters of the Ma. Christina being part of the Mindanaoan people’s ancestral domain.  What would be a more alarming scenario than a privately held APHC not generating power in the rainy season when the waters are high and plentiful and the price of power is low, because the owner determines that the APHC somehow should be “rehabilitated” and “maintained”, only to subject it to full use in summer when the water is low and correspondingly the electricity price goes up?  What is even more frightening is a scenario of oligarchs and politicians buying into APHC, even as they scheme to acquire ownership of CEPALCO and the co-ops through their proxies or their dummies.

The PSALM and NPC have been scaremongering that the NPC liabilities will continue to grow unless we swallow the bitter pill and privatize APHC.  It is time to scare back.  When the ADB sponsored its high-faluting consuner impact assessment on the privatization of the NPC, their consultant’s assumed the existence of perfect markets.  There are no perfect markets in this country, and restructuring has led to cartels and less accountability.  In fact we still have a young consumer movement, a small middleclass and a smaller stock market to ensure democratization of ownership of the power sector.  We were told that competition would drive the rates down.  In fact, bilateral contracts and winking arrangements are still the order of the day.  We were told that the consumer would have the choice as to his power provider.  But how can there be power of choice when there is not even universal access to electricity in our sitios.  Even the act of umbundling has led to an exercise of rate-raising.  Meanwhile the ERC has gone merrily along permitting the piloting of anti-social preactices such as pre-paid metering of power sales, and a performance-based rate-making formula intended to flummox the most skilled and knowledgeable of consumers.  It is about time that we make power a political issue.  Not to be used, as one Senator did, by promising that it would be his problem too. But in terms of demanding accountability and in terms of exacting a platform and plank on power sector concerns that is beyond slogans and speaks to our concerns.

Our resistance to the sale of APHC will allow us to raise the following issues:

1.    NPC should still hold on to assets of “last recourse” such as APHC in order to keep the electricity market honest.  When the Government divested itself of all its shares in Petron, they lost the capacity to bid in prices that would moderate the greed of the oil sisters.  National security and public interest militate that APHC be kept in public hands.  APHC forms part of our national patrimony.

2.     The penalties in the anti-monopoly law should be increased to reflect the new economic realities.  There should also be an expansion od the definition of what constitutes anti-competitive behavior to deter cartels and oligopolies.

3.    Consumers should be represented on the ERC.  There is nothing political about the desire for affordable, safe and reliable energy.

4.    The NEDA should assist consumers and consumer groups in their applications or petitions before the ERC.  This is to even the playing field as the IPPs can afford to retain the best lawyers and economists.

5.    Revisit the IPP contracts with a view to amending the EPIRA.

6.    Promote true consumer ownership of the electric co-ops through CDA registration and compliance with the New Cooperative Code.

7.    Either prohibit Cross-ownership in the power sector or renationalize the assets of NPC, but subject NPC management to the same constraints and pressures of the private sector.

8.    Provide a default mechanism in tariff-making that would compel Government to bid in a lower price to signal players as to the true cost of power.

9.    Moratorium on pre-paid power sales and performance-based ratemaking until full consultations natiowide with consumers have been conducted.

Napocor unions hold fora on Napocor’s privatization

Filed under: mindanao,power crisis — gloriavioleta @ 4:58 am

The Asian Labor Network on International Financial Institutions/Philippines (ALNI/P) held two fora on Key Union Issues in Napocor Privatization in cooperation with Napocor unions – Napocor Employees Consolidated Union (NECU) and Napocor Employees & Workers Union (NEWU).

The first forum was held on September 15 (Tues), 1:00-5:00 pm at Aberdeen Hotel, Quezon City with 50 participants from ALNI/Philippines and NECU and NEWU officers nationwide. Representatives from PSALM and NAPOCOR management were invited. The second forum wiull be held on September 18 (Fri), 1:00-5:00pm at Dynasty Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City. We expect NECU and NEWU regional officers and sectoral representatives, including workers from Agus-Pulangui hydropower complex in Mindanao, and other groups with serious concerns about the Agus-Pulangui privatization. We hope that ADB can participate and listen to the continuing concerns raised by Napocor unions.

ALNI/Philippines is a coalition of 16 trade unions, people’s organizations, NGOs and thinktanks currently co-chaired by the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), and the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC).  They are committed to engage IFIs and the Philippine government in a constructive dialogue on policies, program and projects that have direct impact on Filipino workers and society at large. As such, ALNI/Philippines has been in strategic partnership with NECU and NEWU since 2007 over workers’ concerns in the ADB-assisted power sector restructuring and Napocor privatization.  (For more info on ALNI/P, see: http://alniphilippines.ripchordwebsolutions.com/)

ALNI/Philippines have been engaged in ADB-related activities, the recent one is its representation to the ADB Annual Meeting in Bali last May.

Earlier, NECU and NEWU officers had a meeting with Mr. Zhai Yongping at the Napocor office last August 17. In that meeting, ALNI/P extended the invitation to ADB to participate in the two fora. The unions also discussed, among others, the current status of the Napocor privatization, the continuing costs of power restructuring and violation of workers rights, e.g., non-recognition of Napocor unions; no obligation to retain existing workforce in sale of Napocor plants.

These are just some of the issues which will be raised on September 15 and 18. It is hoped that ADB will participate in view of the Bank’s avowed commitment to consultation and participation (C&P), as well as internationally-recognized Core Labor Standards and related labor laws that ensure protection for workers’ rights.  These issues are not new, they have been raised by the unions two years ago in an October 2007 letter to ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda.


September 6, 2009

Group in solidarity with Lumad bakwits in Surigao ask CHR to investigate

Filed under: Lumads in Mindanao,mindanao,peace — gloriavioleta @ 4:57 am
Tags: ,

I was lucky to be tagged with an executive summary of a group working for the indigenous peoples in Northern Mindanao area. The report contain their findings from what I presumed, a product of  a fact-finding mission done in said place with their recommendations. I would Like to post it here too to (1) popularize their findings (2) inform other parties of the conflict in that  area so that they too could re-evaluate their intervention and hopefully realize that “civilian authority should be respected too above all else” and (3) to respect the right to self-determination of the indigenous peoples.

So,  their report can be gleaned below:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
National Solidarity Mission
Reclaiming our Lives, Reclaiming our Ancestral Land
28 August – 1 September 2009
Surigao del Sur

This report is the result of the National Solidarity Visit to the Surigao del Sur Lumad Evacuees that was spearheaded by Task Force Surigao headed by its spokesperson Representative Luzviminda Ilagan of the Gabriela Partylist. 179 participants from 52 National, Regional and Caraga organizations attended the entire mission.

This NSM report aims to examine the cause of the massive evacuation of the lumad communities in Lianga, San Agustin, Tago and Carrascal in Surigao del Sur that occurred from June to August 2009, to assess the situation of the evacuees at the time of the mission and to present recommendations to mitigate the effects and prevent the same from occurring in the future.

The Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) and Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) schools play a pivotal role in the development of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) communities, a concrete manifestation of the strong unity of the Manobo in Lianga and other nearby lumad communities. Moreover, these schools inspire the Manobo people to exercise and advance their right to self-determination in defense of their ancestral domain. The TRIFPSS or ALCADEV teachers, living within the community, are higly esteemed as educators, advisers and critics in the community. They provided the stabilizing presence that allowed the lumad people to thrive, secure in the knowledge that dependable and sincere people are working with them to realize the tribal communities’ full potential. The education of their children and their regular exercises in democratic decision-making have created a strong sense of community.

For the bankrupt and desperate Arroyo administration, these communities represented the last bastion that must be destroyed to gain access and exploit the abundant forest and mineral resources in Lianga to fill its depleted coffers. The Department of Energy (DOE) has again put the entire ancestral domain of these Andap Valley communities as among the listed DOE-recommended areas for the mining of coal in their 2009 Philippine Energy Contracting Round that closed last June 2009.

Military presence in the lumad communities began to build up also in June 2009. In the guise of bringing development through the implementation of education, electrification, road-building and small socio-economic projects, the military aggressively campaigned for the conscription of community members into the Task Force Gantangan – Bagani Forces or else surrender as NPA. They talked to children of stealing the firearms of the NPA, distributing flyers with the pricelist for surrendered arms. They sought to supplant the schools that the communities founded with their own schools, purportedly to “legalize” them, openly accusing TRIFPSS and ALCADEV of being illegal and some staff of being NPA.

Because the military was staying within the communities with their high-power firearms always at the ready and conducting armed patrols in the communities’ perimeter, there were reported incidents of engagements, allegedly with the NPA, around the communities.

These conditions spurred the massive evacuations from June to August 2009. The evacuees suffered inhuman conditions at evacuation centers, receiving inadequate social services from the government. They lived mainly from the community leaders’ efforts to approach local, national and international organizations to appeal for assistance. It was again through their own efforts that food, medical services and other support reached them during their evacuation.

The Manobo community leadership, through MAPASU, engaged government, non-government, church and sectoral organizations at the local, national and international level, to lobby for their immediate return to their communities. It was only when the issue came to the attention of national leaders that the military announced their pullout from the communities with the caveat that they will still return to implement the projects that they had to put on hold while the people were in evacuation.

The NSM delegation accompanied the communities during the return to their homes on August 30, after more than 6 weeks in evacuation. There were documented cases of defacement of property with anti-communist slogans, malicious destruction and loss of property. Some farms were destroyed because of the prolonged period when the crops were not tended.

In Pantukan, Carrascal, the military was still in the community, living less than 75 meters from the back of the Roman Catholic Chapel when the NSM delegation visited. The military’s clotheslines where still full and in plain view when the mission arrived. They were also harassed by two motorcycle-riding men in civilian clothes who were believed to be intelligence agents who took pictures of the delegation while interviewing residents.

Under the OPLAN Bantay Laya 2, the military operates in three modes – combat, intelligence and civil-military. Aside from allowing the Philippine Government to declare a “strategic victory” against the CPP-NPA-NDFP before its deadline in 2010, these modes that are in full operation in Surigao del Sur, more importantly, will pave the way for the uninterrupted operation of mining companies in the area. The projects that were supposedly for the development of these communities are actually nothing more than consolation prizes and bribes for the wholesale plunder of the mineral and other forest resources in their ancestral domain. The TRIFPSS and ALCADEV schools are vilified and TFG-BF are recruited to undermine the unity and strong sense of community identity that have become inherent in the Manobo communities in the MAPASU areas.

Despite the fact that the Manobo communities have already returned to their homes, with the media pronouncements of the AFP regarding the 13 Manobo residents in the MAPASU area who are already charged with warrants of arrest ready to be served, their persistence in implementing their “development projects” and continued vilification of ALCADEV, its learners and staff, these communities continue to be under threat.

We therefore recommend:

1. For the Philippine Government to withdraw OPLAN Bantay Laya 2 and pull out military troops from civilian communities in Surigao del Sur;

2. For the AFP and the Philippine Government to idemnify members of the community who incurred damages/losses to property and livelihood due to the prolonged military occupation of their communities and homes;

3. For the AFP to stop the recruitment to the illegal Task Force Gantangan-Bagani Forces and to consider the interests of these lumad communities and allow the civilian government line agencies to handle the development projects that they plan to implement with community consultations to ensure their full, prior and informed consent;

4. For House of Representatives’ Committees on Human Rights, Education and Indigenous Peoples’ Concern to immediately tackle the resolutions that were submitted by the office of Rep. Luz Ilagan regarding issues relating to the massive evacuations in Surigao del Sur and conduct onsite investigations to address them;

5. For Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Atty. Leila de Lima to investigate so that responsible persons may be held accountable for the conditions in Surigao del Sur that spurred the massive evacuations, the inhuman conditions due to the lack of social services that the evacuees suffered at the evacuation centers and the threats that still confront these communities even after they have returned home;

6. For National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Commissioner Eugenio A. Insigne to conduct an on-site investigation to help resolve contentious issues regarding the recognition of the ancestral domain and right to self-determination and to act decisively to protect the legitimate interests of the Manobo communities affected by this massive evacuation;

7. For President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to be reminded that the Philippine Government is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’

September 4, 2009

‘Expert group’ to craft policy recommendations to stop Agus & Pulangi complexes sale by 2011

Filed under: power crisis — gloriavioleta @ 8:04 am

An expert group was organized to discuss about the impending sale of Agus and Pulangi complexes, both of which are major sources of electricity in Mindanao, as a result of hot debates relating to its supposed sell-out in the market by 2011 in accordance to the EPIRA– a law that subject the government’s utilities used for generating power to privatization.

Lanao Power Consumers Federation (Lapocof), a group composed of civil society in Iligan and Lanao, will lead the conference of this “expert group.”

Such was a result after the consultation done by the Mindanao Coalition for Transparent Accountable Governance (MCTAG) in partnership with the Mindanao Business Council (MinBC) at Davao city last August 25 and 26 relating to the Unequal Distribution of Electricity in the Island, the alleged Impending Power Crisis in Mindanao and How to Bring Down Power Rates.

The Privatization of the Agus/Pulangui Hydro Complexes was also hotly debated which however ended in a consensual agreement that “indeed the Agus/Pulangui Hydro Complexes should not be sold.”

In this connection it was decided that there would be an Experts Group Meeting on September 11, 2009 in Iligan City to be spearheaded by the Lanao Power Consumers Federation. This group is further composed of representatives of these groups:

a. Consumers, Residential, Commercial and Industrial

b. Distribution Utilities, Privately Owned Corporations/Companies and Cooperatives,

c. Transmission Backbone Concessionaire, NGCP;

d. Generators of Electricity, NPC and the Independent Power Producers

e. Local Government Units

f.  National Government Entities: PSALM, DOE, ERC, WESM

The group plan to come up with two parallel papers:

(1) a Resolution to be submitted to Congress and the Senate;

(2) Recommendations for Amendments to the EPIRA to exempt the Agus/Pulangui Complexes from the privatization of NPC assets. Also the group has to come up with a proposal as to what market set up would be appropriate in an environment wherein the Agus/Pulangui remains in the care of NPC. The proposal will try to address the concerns of the different sectors involved in the electricity industry.

and (3)  Tackle the issues on Share of the Wealth Tax, Community Host Benefit, Environmental Fund, Missionary Electrification, and Lifeline Rate.

The venue of the expert conference is at Elena Tower Inn, Iligan City.

August 29, 2009

Iligan officials back consumers against sale of Agus & Pulangi complexes

Filed under: power crisis — gloriavioleta @ 4:31 am
Tags: , , , ,

To sustain the discussion about the sale of Agus and Pulangi Complexes by 2011, let me qoute a report from Iligan City Information Office about the position of officials here.
“Subling gipahayag ni Mayor Lawrence Lluch Cruz nga suportado sa mga opisyal sa siyudad ang mga paningkamot karon sa Lanao Power Consumers Federation (LAPOCOF) nga babagan ang privatization sa Agus ug Pulangi Hydro-Electric Plants pag-abot sa tuig 2011.” MORE TO READ…

The local officials of Iligan city fully backed the advocacy of Lanap Power Consumers Federation, a partnership of civil society in Iligan city working for consumers welfare, against the sell-out of Agus and Pulangi complexes in 2011 to cope with its whooping debt of National Power Corporation (NPC).

In fact, as a manifestation of their commitment to pursue this campaign, officials made a resolution:

Resolution urging PGMA, the National Power Corporation (NPC), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) and the Appropriate Committee on Congress to cease and desist from selling the hydroelectric power plants particularly Agus and Pulagui in the disposal of assets of National Power Corporation, pursuant to Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001  (EPIRA) Law.

Resolution No 09-246

Whereas, the body deliberated on the disturbing report that the National Power Corporation (NPC) is slowly losing its hydroelectric power plants. According to the report, the PSALM corporation which is tasked of selling seventy (70) percent of the state’s power assets by the end of the year, to fully deregulate the power industry and case government burden brought by NPCs debts, has been ordered by Malacanang to complete the sale of assets to bring about true competition and lower rates;

WHEREAS, it can be recalled that the structure of the power industry in the country, after the passage of Republic Act 9136, otherwise known as EPIRA saw the chopping of NPC into Generation Company and Transmission Company both owned and managed by PSALM. Under EPIRA, the government is required to sell plants with a combined capacity of 4,200 megawatts before 2010;

WHEREAS, Iligan city which hosts three hydroelectric plants in the Agus River Hydro Complex is worried as for decades, these plants have softened the impact of high process of electricity produced by diesel and coal fired plants. It is certain that once sold to private corporatios, specifically foreign-owned it will result to the stratospheric prices of electricity which is beyond the capability of poor people to pay;

WHEREAS, the  body will not raise a howl of protest over the selling of NPC power plants, provided these are only limited to oil thirsty diesel and coal fired plants which pollute the environment and are expensive to operate;

Resolve that the SP urges PGMA, NPC, PSALM and the appropriate committees in Congress to cease and desist from selling the hydroelectric power plants particularly Agus and Polanggui in the disposal of assets of NPC pursuant to EPRIA 2001 Law.

Carried unanimously by the City Council. This resolution is authored by Moises G. Dalisay, Simplicio N. Larrazabal and Orlando M. Maglinao

They also planned to discuss this matter with the following bodies:

a. League of City Mayors

b. League of City Councilors

and c.) sought congressman Varf Belmonte to sponsor a bill amending theEPIRA, a law dubbed by city councilor Chonilo Ruiz as “treacherous.”
View here the powerpoint presentation of Dr. Melchie Ambalong of the Mindanao Commission on Women & Lanao Power Consumers Federation.

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.