Monday, May 20, 2019

Electric consumer group calls for review of Epira

THE National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers (NCECCO) calls for a review of Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) as the root cause of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

During the National Electrification Administration-Electric Cooperatives (NEA-EC) Consultative press conference at Ponce Suites last Thursday, April 6, NCECCO secretary general Eric Bucoy said Epira monopolizes electric generating companies instead of democratizing it.

“On August of last year, there was a conference of the national electric cooperative general managers. I came up with the position paper asking the group to come up with a position to ask the national government to suspend the implementation of Epira. Until now, my personal position with that is Epira has a lot of unconstitutional conditions. Epira only breeds the monopoly of the electric generating companies instead of democratizing it,” said Bucoy.

After the official launching of NCECCO by the end of April at Tagum City, Bucoy said their first mission is to lobby the review of Epira to the Congress. He said Senators Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, and Chiz Escudero had been supportive of of the review of the law.

Bucoy said particular groups against WESM had also been calling for the scrapping of Epira.

“We need to attack the root cause of the problem. It is not WESM. The root cause is this Epira. To me, Epira only means money for generating companies,” he said.

Bucoy said Epira had long promised cheaper electricity but ever since, the price had been fluctuating and was not cheap as it had promised.
“If the member consumers don’t act as one, nothing will happen,” Bucoy said.
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