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Kongreso kinonsensya ng Meralco customers

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Nanawagan ang mga konsyumer ng Manila Electric Company (Meralco), kabilang ang Power for People Coalition (P4P), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), at Sanlakas kina Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano at House Energy Committee Chairman Lord Allan Velasco na pagtuunan ang ‘no-disconnection deadline’ ng “bill shock” na hanggang sa ngayon ay hindi pa tinatakay ng komite sa Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso.

“We have heard Cayetano and Velasco talk about so many things in their jockeying for the Speakership,

even their birthdays, but we have yet to hear from them talk about what they will do for the thousands of households unable to pay their massive Meralco bills from the bill shock period. Despite the hearings,

consumers are still waiting for concrete action from Congress. There is a looming crisis of much of Metro

Manila going dark when classes are online and when most people are forced to work from their homes. We ask Congress, as our elected representatives, to make this their priority,” pahayag ni Gerry Arances, P4P Convenor.

Ang panawagan ay isinagawa ng grupo sa ginanap na press conference, kung saan iprinisinta ang ‘moratorium’ sa labis labis bills’ na ikinamangha ng mga konsyumer sa panahon ng enhanced community quaratinte (ECQ), at sa kanilang online petition na tinawag na #TigilBayad, na kanilang inihain na rin sa Kongreso at Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

“Walang mawawala sa Meralco kung magbibigay sila ng palugit. Pero kami, pag nawalan ng kuryente,

hindi na makakapag-aral, mahihirapang maghanap buhay, at lalong hindi makakabayad. Hiling lang naming, tamang singil at sapat na panahon para bayaran ito,” ayon naman kay Nimfa Cachila ng

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Bayabas Village Neighborhood Association in Nangka, Marikina.

“While consumers are still waiting for concrete action from Congress, what needs to be emphasized in

this Meralco Bill shock is that expensive electricity rates are sourced out from 7 coal-fired power plants with power supply agreements that passed through ERC. There is a problem with the opaque pricing mechanism on how ERC and Meralco came out with the generation rates. Obviously, there is no truth to what they, Meralco, and other generation companies say that coal is cheap. It has never been cheap. It is costly, deadly, and dirty. If we allow these plants to operate, a great amount of GHG emission from the total 3,219 MW will further mess up the climate. We, challenge Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and House Energy Committee Chairman Lord Allan Velasco that these 7 PSAs be investigated on the grounds of abetting the bill shock and climate harm. We demand to ERC to reveal to Meralco consumers why these contracts are not open to consumer scrutiny. These seven PSA contracts of Meralco should be investigated.” giit din ni Ian Rivera, PMCJ National Coordinator.

Hiniling din ng grupo ang pagkakaroon ng ‘fair electricity rates, flexible payment scheme, pagsasauli ng

lahat mga naka- pending na refunds, reporma sa Meralco billing practices, at independent audit

sa distribution utility upang malaman ang dinanas na paghihirap ng mga konsyumer sa nakaraang

recession.

“The intramurals over who should be Speaker of the House is casting a long shadow over the plight of

Meralco consumers who will bear the yoke of Meralco’s sky-high power costs. What is relevant to electric consumers is not who holds power in the House but how Congress can ensure immediate relief to millions in the time of COVID. They bicker over their October 14 power sharing deadline, while families worry about being buried neck deep in Meralco’s Bill shock after October 31. Tama na, sobra na!” dagdag naman ni Aaron Pedrosa Secretary General of Sanlakas. (Dolly Cabreza)

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