DAVAO CITY Councilor Leah Librado expressed opposition over Davao Light and Power Company's (DLPC) pending imposition of an eight-centavo power rate increase, saying it will only burden majority of Dabawenyos, specially the poor.

"Samot na gyud nga magbaguod ang mga inahan niini hilabi na katong mga wala gyud klarong panginabuhian nga maglisod naman gani nga magpalit og pagkaon (Such increase will only add burden to mothers, especially those don't have steady job.) Mothers, who belong to families with less than P120 income per day, allocate budget for electric and water bills next to food, mao ning lisod gyud ning patas-an pa ang presyo sa kuryente," said Librado.

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Librado, who chairs the City Council committee on women, children and family relations, said the economic rights of women should be protected as enshrined in the Women Development Code, and these include the fact that the state must exert all efforts to cushion the impact of the economic crisis.

"The power rate increase is too much for our mothers, particularly for working mothers, especially that the wage board has recently granted a measly P21 wage increase or an estimated P500 a month increase. Ironically, the adjusted power rates would only take up this purported increase. Families can only forego with other basic needs, but not electricity or power costs, thus the power rate increase is way, way too much," the neophyte councilor said.

Librado urged the DLPC management to concede to the people's sentiments against the power rate hike, adding that "the power rate increase would spark off a domino effect in the local economy as the business establishments would eventually pass the power rate burden to consumers. The proposed rate increase is even higher than the national power rate increase of 0.04 centavos."

Librado slammed the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), the law that allowed the privatization of the country's power industry.

"Epira has failed to bring down the price of electricity, instead, it has given way for the foreign power corporations to gain high profits at the expense of the paying public," she said.