MANILA, Philippines – Rappler talks to Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares.
In December of 2013, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced an unprecedented P4.15 per kilowatt hour price hike triggering widespread public anger. According to Meralco, the increase in power prices stemmed from the need to resort to more expensive energy alternatives after the scheduled maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas field. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved the company’s plan to implement the rate hike, but on a staggered basis. (READ: ERC oks Meralco’s staggered rate hike)
The hike is also being investigated by the Senate and a tripartite committee composed of the Department of Energy, the Energy Regulatory Commission and the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation, the operator of WESM.
Responding to criticism, Meralco earlier sought to blame the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and government-controlled power generator PSALM for the “abnormal” rate.
Colmenares refuted these claims however, submitting a petition to the Supreme Court (SC). The petition, among others submitted to the High Court, resulted in a temporary restraining order on the rate hike’s implementation. (READ: Meralco inflated charges, SC told)
Watch the interview below.
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