Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Losses Meralco Never Lost

Energy productions and distributions are a lucrative business. It is a basic necessity of urban living. The goods and services being produced are not only encouraged but supported by the government and the well as the losses.


Meralco, whose acronym came from Manila Electric Railroad And Light Company, and later changed to Manila Electric Company, has been railroading its consumers to pay a high electricity bills. It had transmuted from the Lopez clan to NAPOCOR and back to the Lopez family after the EDZA Revolution. The Lopezes reacquired only the controlling ownership and its aging power generating plant such as Rockwell and Tegen power plant stations and substation facilities were retained to NAPOCOR. Other shares were owned by the government financial institution, particularly, GSIS which owned twenty-five percent. With the government partnership, Meralco became the sole distributor of electric energy and owns the franchise of supplying power to Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Mega Manila region. It has the priority to supply big commercial and industrial users. Being a monopoly of power distribution it can dictate the mode of its operation, charges, and collection to its hostage users. Even its losses due to pilferages, heating, and inefficiencies were being charged to the consumers.


The system losses of the company as well as the losses of the government side in the form of taxes are contained and compounded in a single billing statement. All these are being shouldered by the consumers and are at issue these days. The common question is: “ Why is the fault of Pedro being charged to Juan?” The company enjoys all the benefits from the government and with the assurance of profits, it is a sure fire undertakings. Failure or bankruptcy is very remote or impossible in their operations. This one sided treatment and unfair practices had been the perennial complaint of the consumers, but it is often neglected. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile once capitalized on this issue in campaigning for election and won as such but the adherence to fight for low electric bill gradually diminished. Cause-oriented groups hardly ever touch this issue fearing the lost of support from the Lopezes - who own the biggest media company- in their campaign to oust their hated regime. How can this country prosper when all its aspects for development involves politics?


Meralco electric rates are among the highest in the Asian region and consecutively raking profits in the past many years. Consequently, it contributed further to the hardship and poverty among Pinoys. With this unresponsiveness, no one can resolve this apathy except we, Pinoys. Have a time to be counted in our struggle for low electric energy cost.


Mars said...

MERALCO is being regulated by the ERC. So anything they put in our bills has been deliberated upon and approved by the ERC. Maybe if the rules change, then MERALCO has to follow. Wala naman silang choice eh. Plus, the system loss charges have ceilings, thus not all system losses are charged to the consumers. Anything above the cap for systems loss is absorbed by the company. Syempre as mandated by the ERC itong mga rules na ito. :)

Rmagin said...

Thanks Mars,
Energy Regulatory Commission and Meralco, in the pursuit of public interest, should be the one to answer their misdeeds. They conspired with one another to cheat us –the captive end-user. There is no mention of “system loss” to be charged to consumers under the “Electric Power Industry Reform Act” or EPIRA Law. ERC is only empowered to implement the rules and regulations under this Act for reliability of service and reduction of electricity cost. They are the ones who owe us an explanations as to why the cost of their inefficiencies should be charged to Juan dela Cruz.

Rmagin said...

The system losses or pilferage losses prescribed under Sec. 10 of R.A. 7832 has been amended and replaced by R.A. 9136 otherwise known as EPIRA Law of 2001 and any laws inconsistent with its provisions were repealed or modified. ERC which replaced ERB is mandated by Epira to determine a new form of rate-setting methodology such the return on rate basis. System Loss was incorporated to the Anti-Pilferage of Electricity Act to evade scrutiny of consumers. This Act or R.A. 7832 is intended to identify the items lost and the assignment of penalty to specific pilferer and not to punish the whole consumers to ensure the recovery of the losses.