Sunday, June 1, 2008

Government takeover of Meralco

meralcoWhy does Meralco had to be blamed for the government mismanagement when it comes to high electric bill? This appears to be a fact now, rather than a question. To be honest, every Filipino knows that in this corrupt country someone has to be blamed for the mismanagement concocted by the government itself, and the blame resides not on the energy department or any other departments of this stinking country, but rather on the huge power distributor, known to many, as the Meralco.

How did Meralco surface in the big picture is another story, but as you would view it in simpler terms, the said company was used as an escape goat to avoid further humiliation from the ever-boiling-and-pent-up-scandals brought about by the ZTE NBN (National Broadband Deal) deal, the swine scam, the agricultural scam a.k.a. fertilizer fund scam and the deceit and fraud brought about by the last presidential elections that was never resolved and never will be resolved until the current president exist in the seat of power.

It wasn’t a secret to the Filipino public that Meralco is partly owned and controlled by the Lopez family; and its sister company, the largest television network in the Philippines, ABS-CBN, has had released several exposes against the current administration ranging from minute evidence of fraud up to providing sufficient ones that can topple the incumbent corrupt president out of palace of MalacaƱang, provided the people empower themselves again. Hence, it’s no wonder why the current administration, a power leech for that, is trying to get even with the said family because of what they had done – to tell the truth to the unknowing Filipino people.

But why blame one of the Lopezs’ companies for high electric bills? The answer is quite too simple and logical, it’s more like putting pieces in a jigsaw puzzle; the current administration is trying to win back people into trusting their flawed system of governance so that they can plunder the national treasury for the nth time. The government had used Meralco as a pawn to let the uneducated people of this country to believe that they were being deceived by the said company into paying high electric bills when in fact Meralco is duly and rightfully charging its consumers what they had used based on the set of laws and guidelines provided to them by the government per se. The government used their connections inside the company to throw malicious and never ending accusations and tirade on the management of Meralco by the name of GSIS president Winston Garcia to point out that indeed the company is doing something wrong and unethical with regards to charging its consumers, when in fact it doesn’t. The government used the issue of the country’s inflation and increasing prices of basic necessities and commodities including the electricity consumption as a leverage to shift the attention of the public from the scrupulous deeds that they had done and might have done that was already starting to surface.

But was the jigsaw puzzle near completion? If ever the change of management happened in Meralco, which God forbids, never happened as of the moment, then the farcical scheme of fooling the public might had come to light. Electrical bills will never decrease its current price but instead will sky-rocket because the government puppy will never manage to eradicate the government royalties and extended value added tax placed on the consumption of electricity, but instead the puppy might double the royalties the government earns for future funding for the next electoral fraud. The new management if ever the change will take effect will never help those poor Filipino people who were suffering from paying high electric bills but instead they will try to bankrupt them up to the last penny that they can muster. Imagine that if this takeover occurred, a repeat of what had happened in the dictatorship era will transpire, and the puppies associated to all those companies and corporations taken over will end up as the next cronies to amass and plunder the wealth of the national treasury.

But why do the Philippines had high electrical bill per household? Before the enactment of the EPIRA law and development of the independent power producers, this country was stuck by a massive problem of lack of electricity. To arrest such situation the former president had decided to let independent power producers to create their own source of electricity and to sell the rest of the electricity produced to the now bankrupted government corporation, the NAPOCOR, with which all electricity received by NAPOCOR, will be sold to Meralco, the largest power distributor to date, at a slightly higher price than that of the independent power producers. Since the government allowed the independent power producers to make their own electrical source, more than 20-50 percent of electricity distributed by Meralco came directly to their own independent power producers, rather than NAPOCOR, since it’s cheaper compared to the ones being sold to them by NAPOCOR. But according to the law passed in the Philippines that all produced electricity to date, be it used or unused, will still be paid and shouldered by the consumers. Meaning, with a lot of independent power producers creating their source of electricity, the Philippines has had surplus of electricity, and that surplus will be deemed sold by the IPPS with which the payment to that produced electricity will come to pockets of the people. Now add EVAT and the government royalties to that of what will be sold to Meralco, as compared to Meralco’s own IPPS, where will the power distributor buy the electricity, of course to where the distributor can save money but deliver the goods on time. But since the consumers pay all electricity that was generated then most likely the electric bill that comes every month is really high per household. Will change of management in Meralco change the fact that there is a surplus of unused electricity? Definitely it wouldn’t. No matter who sits on the board of Meralco, the same problem will exist because the government already had a bad managerial style.

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