By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
A party-list group has urged Congress to punish abusive power companies and implement reforms in the power sector which would swing the balance of power in favor of consumers instead of power companies.
In a letter to the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC), Murang Kuryente party-list group (MKP) requested the lawmakers to review the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) law and implement much-needed amendments as part of the long-term solutions to the country’s power woes.
“We believe EPIRA should be amended in a way that would prioritize consumers and that we, including the government, should no longer be at the mercy of private companies,” said MKP nominee Gerry Arances.
Glenn Ymata, another nominee of MKP, said the JCPC should review the existing power supply agreements (PSA) between the generation companies whose plants recently implemented forced outages and the distribution utilities like Manila Electric Company (MERALCO).
“Kailangang ipaglaban ang karapatan ng lahat ng consumer na magkaroon ng murang kuryente. Hindi mangyayari ito hangga’t hindi maglalabas ng pangil ang pamahalaan at parusahan ang mga abusadong power companies,” said Ymata.
Ymata also stressed that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) should also be audited to ensure that they are pushing for the lowest-cost PSAs as required by law.
The group is concerned that the power crisis being felt in several parts of Luzon now is just a desperate attempt by power generators and distributors to push for their onerous PSAs.