Marcos a burden to the poor, inutile against soaring electricity rates

This article is available in Pilipino

On June 29, the urban poor group Kadamay staged a protest against the impending massive increase in Meralco electricity rates planned for July to September. The rates are set to rise by ₱2.31 per kilowatt-hour or ₱0.77/kwh per month over the three-month period.

“Marcos, kuryentihin para magising!” (Electrocute Marcos to wake him up!), the urban poor group said.

According to Mimi Doringo, the secretary-general of Kadamay, “The services that should be given to us are being turned by the government into a business.” The regime not only fails to serve the poor, but it is also in cahoots with the ruling class that controls public utilities, whose sole aim is to maximize profits while the Filipino people languish in poverty.

Meralco justifies the rate hike by citing the need to recoup ₱500 million in generation costs and the rise in electricity prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in May. May was also the month when frequent “red” and “yellow” alerts occurred due to simultaneous power plant outages in Luzon and Visayas. Combined with the surge in electricity demand during the El Niño-induced drought and heatwave, electricity prices in the market dominated by major distributors like Meralco have soared.

The Energy Regulatory Board has approved Meralco’s rate increase, recommending only that it be implemented in a “staggered” manner to make it seem more palatable to consumers. Meralco’s rates will rise from ₱9.45/kwh in June to ₱11.76/kwh by September.

AB: Marcos a burden to the poor, inutile against soaring electricity rates