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Repeal of EPIRA pushed

Manila, Philippines – Moves to repeal the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) to “rectify the grave injustices to the Filipino people” are expected to be intensified when Congress buckles down to work next month.

The Makabayan bloc of the House of Representatives continued to push for the passage of House Bill 256 to repeal the “anti-people, pro-corporation” RA 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA).

“An urgent policy reversal is in order to give concrete resolution to the nationwide problem of high power rates,” the seven-man group said in fi ling the bill.

The group’s call was supported by the House leadership with Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II declaring the Lower Chamber’s readiness to take a second look at the EPIRA.

Belmonte maintained that it is “a good time” to revisit the EPIRA following the skyrocketing power rates.

Gonzales agreed with the House Chief, saying that the EPIRA review is “possible” this 16th Congress.

Fellow House leaders, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, chairman of the House committee on energy and Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, vice chairman of the House committee on appropriations also pushed to introduce more “consumer-centric” amendments to EPIRA. (Charissa M. Luci)