Palace won't allow unjustifiable power rate hike

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2014 03:36 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2014 11:36 PM

MANILA - Malacañang assured consumers that it would not allow “unjustifiable” power rate hikes to be passed on to consumers as government investigates whether there was collusion behind Meralco’s power rate hike.

“Government will ensure that unjustifiable price hikes are not passed on to and borne by the citizens,” Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said.

He said government will also ensure that there is enough power supply.

“Patuloy ring titiyakin ng ating pamahalaan na magkakaroon ng sapat na supply ng kuryente para sa mga pangangailangan ng mga tahanan at industriya sa presyong makatuwiran,” Coloma said.

The Palace said industry players should prepare for foreseeable events such as the scheduled Malampaya shutdown.

“Dapat paghandaan ng lahat ng industry players ang mga itinakdang pagkumpuni at pagsaayos, regular maintenance schedule, ng Malampaya at iba pang pinagkukunan ng suplay ng kuryente,” Coloma said.

The Energy Regulatory Commission, the Palace said, should also ensure that there is no market abuse that would lead to “unjustifiable” rate hikes.

“Kailangang tiyakin ng ERC na siyang chief regulator ng power industry na walang sabwatan, collusion, at pang-aabuso, abuse of power, na magaganap at hahantong sa di makatuwirang tubo sa negosyo, unjustifiable profits. At kung matutuklasan ito, ayon na rin sa batas ng EPIRA, dapat bawiin ang sobra o di makatuwirang tubo,” Coloma said.