BACOLOD

Consumers oppose proposal to privatize electric coops

A GROUP of consumers opposed moves inside the House of Representatives to privatize electric cooperatives.

“Privatization of electric cooperatives for Negros will only worsen the problem of dirty and costly energy,” said Gerry Arances, Convenor of the Power for People (P4P) Coalition.

“Privatization of most of the energy and power industry has given way to big corporations calling the shots in the country’s energy policy at the expense of power consumers,” he added.

Arances cited the speech given by Negros Electric Cooperatives Association (Neca) president Dan Pondevilla during the opening ceremony of the 5th Annual Neca Team Building Festival (TBF) at Brooke’s Place Dumaguete City last Saturday, calling electric coops in Negros to unite against the proposal.

“While we must remain vigilant against this proposal, it also should serve as a challenge to electric coops across the country to get their act together in delivering clean, affordable, and reliable electricity in the island,” Arances added.

“We do not want to become like Metro Manila, where privatization has slowed the development of renewable energy, and has led to various pass-on provisions charged to the electric consumer,” said Grid Alila, coordinator of Murang Kuryente-Negros, adding that, “We do not need our own Meralco in Negros. Electric coops must work together with consumers to keep Negros’ electricity in the hands of Negrosanons.”

Meanwhile, the youth of Negros decried the proposal as privatization will give big corporations greater influence in smuggling coal power plants into the island.

“Many of the biggest coal generation companies also have their hand in distribution, such as Meralco and San Miguel,” said Krishna Ariola of Linghod and Ecological Justice League - Negros. “The influence of coal companies in the island is already strong even without them controlling distribution utilities. Giving them such power will just ultimately grant them the license to profit from the exploitation of our environment and our consumers.” (PR)


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