March 21, 2014
Meralco’s reduced computation of its proposed power rate hike for January is a good start in our effort to substantially reduce, if not remove altogether, the rate hikes stemming from the anomalous spike in electricity prices in November and December last year.
From P5.33 inclusive of all charges, Meralco has recomputed the rate increase down to 65 centavos for January, or an 88% decrease. The substantial reduction is a result of the activism and protest actions of the consumers. The ERC should still review the figure and allow consumers to scrutinize and question it through a public hearing.
In the first place, we have to see how PEMC and Meralco arrived at these new rates which supposedly removed the WESM price spikes as a factor. ERC should ascertain whether the increased fuel cost due to the Malampaya shutdown was fair and reasonable.
ERC should consider the point raised by the Makabayan bloc that because the proposed rate hikes were due to anomalies in the market, then it is the companies involved, and not the consumers, who should bear the burden of the price spike.#