President elect Aquino asked to stop power rate hikes

By Bombshell Moran, Trinity Biglang Awa and Gerry Albert Corpuz

MANILA, Philippines- Calling it the biggest robbery in broad daylight of year 2010, an official of the activist fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged on Monday President elect Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III to reject the proposal of state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor) to hike its’ rates two times tis year.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France dismissed the proposals for two time big time power rate increases as the biggest robbery in broad daylight in the post President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration.

“Mr. Aquino should immediately order the Energy Regulatory Commission to reject these unmindful and berserk proposals of Napocor. He can send the marching order right after his inauguration as 15th President of the Republic,” said France.

Napocor is seeking a 62.51 centavos increase per kilowatt-hour in Luzon, 9.73 centavos per kwh in the Visayas and 11.22 centavos per kwh in Mindanao under the 16th installment of the Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism or GRAM.

The government owned power utility group is also asking the ERC to approve the 63.61 centavos per kwh increase in Luzon, 7.04 centavos per kwh increase in the Visayas and 3.99 centavos per Kwh increase in Mindanao this time under the 15th installment of Incremental Currency Exchange Rate Adjustment or ICERA.

“These electriying proposals of Napocor are worthy of consumer revolt and across-the-nation outrage. All the officials of Napocor should immediately resign from their posts and be ready to be confronted by the angry public and exploited consumers face to face,” the Pamalakaya leader said.

France said one Aquino’s first order of business include the nullification of Napocor proposals for power rate increases. The Pamalakaya official added that President elect Aquino should instead form an investigating body that would open the books of Napocor and scrutinize the operations of the state-owned power utility in the last nine years from 2001 to 2010.

“Napocor is losing money because of left-and-right and unbridled bureaucratic corruption in the 9 years of the Arroyo administration. Napocor is losing money because of the deregulation policy of the govenrment since the deregulation regime of former President Fidel Ramos up to Ms. Arroyo. Therefore, Mr. Aquino has no option but stop this money making adventure of Napocor and kill the three-in-one deregulation, privatization and liberalization policy that made Napocor into monster ,” said Pamalakaya. @

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