before Epira, electricity generated and distributed was P5/kilowatthour, seven years later, electricity here is the highest in Asia at P11/kWh. Then, starting this early 2008, our electricity prices will hit P15/kWh as the Universal Charge kicks in with payment for “stranded costs” amounting to $9.6 billion that FVR and Gloria’s onerous IPP contracts and the Epira’s privatization — plus the wholesale electricity spot market (Wesm) and other charges (P2.60/kWh and more).
The “open access” amendment ballyhooed by Juan Ponce-Enrile, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Mikee Arroyo, supposedly to reduce the Lopez lock on the power market by reducing National Power Corp. privatization minimum from 70 percent to 10 percent to promote competition — all these are hoaxes to divert from the real task: the scrapping of Epira and the gargantuan stranded costs — the PPA overpurchased and overpriced by Ramos and Gloria and Napocor debts it incurred and transferred to consumers because the IPP and private distribution companies privatized those margins as corporate profit. That is the only way to save consumers, industry, taxpayers and this country from the cataclysm of the power rates going amuck.
The P15/kWh will hit the country with a whammy, a seismic shock that will make the Myanmar gas price increase that provoked even normally compliant Buddhist monks, look like a picnic. What GMA will try to do is to cover up the increase again, how? By passing it on silently as taxes — the way Joker Arroyo and Teddy “Boy” Locsin helped Gloria increase revenues by stealthily putting in 12 percent VAT into our power bills; but we’ll be here to inform one and all and they shouldn’t get away with it this time. But in addition to the stranded cost, the Wesm and PEMC fees and profits to “recover,” Meralco is also getting a revision to its profits-setting formula — from the 12 percent RORB (reasonable return of rate base) to the new PBR (performance based rate).
Kahit na ba si Joker Arroyo ayaw na rin magbayad ng kuryente niya!