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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 8, 2016
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Power Watch
supports bill of Benitez

Power Watch Negros is strongly supporting the bill filed by Rep. Alfredo Benitez (Neg. Occ. 3 rd District) in the 17 th Congress that seeks to put power supply contracts under close scrutiny.

House Bill No. 84 requires the Energy Regulatory Commission to conduct a transparent bidding process for power supply, amending the Sec. 45 of Republic Act 9130 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001. The amendment is expected to decrease electricity rates.

“PWN hopes that if this bill becomes a law, it will check and put an end to the over contracted power supply contracts Electric Power Purchase Agreements,” its secretary-general Wennie Sancho said.

Sancho said these over contracted EPPAs lead to high electricity rates due to the take or pay provision of the contract which states that if the consumers take power less than the contracted energy, they will still pay the generation charge of the contracted energy, and all applicable fees charges and cost.

He also said this is grossly disadvantageous to the consumers who are compelled to pay for the unutilized energy.

Benitez said the amendment to EPIRA will provide a closer scrutiny of power contracts and make the Department of Energy accountable for questionable transactions between the distribution and generation sectors.

Although the passage of EPIRA generated hopes for a more accessible power supply and affordable power rates in all regions, Benitez said, 13 years since its approval have not brought down the rates through the cultivation of market competition.

Power Watch hopes that House Bill No. 84 will become a magna carta for consumers in the power industry, Sancho also said.*KBC



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