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Alphabet soup

EPERA – er, I mean EPIRA, for Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

Jullie Yap DazaWESM, Wholesale Electricity Spot Market. I prefer SM.

Napocor, National Power Corp. So who’s empowered?

ERC, Energy Regulatory Commission. Commission of a crime, you say?

IPP, Independent Power Producers. Independent of consumers.

NGC, National Greed Corp. – sorry, make that Grid.

PEMC, Philippine Electricity Market Corp.

PSALM, Private Sector Assets and Liabilities Management. Nothing to do with the Bible.

CERA, Currency Exchange Rate Agreement. Que sera sera not good enough.

PPA, Power Purchase Agreement.

NEA, National Electrification Authority. Authorizing who?

This alphabet soup is clearly indigestible. Once consumers make heads or tails of it, if at all, there’ll be new acronyms thrown into the pot. Remember how those initials came along? They – previous administrations – had to do something about the power situation (8 to 12-hour blackouts starting in 1991) and came up with all those mechanisms and agencies. The average reader who is averagely smart might be able to discern the cocktail mix of letters, names and functions, but I’m not in that category.

Those recipes were never heard of before darkness set in, and when they came down on our heads to save us from power shortages and outages, we were supposed to be thankful for them, such ingenious devices they were. Thanks to them, power rates have gone up 112 percent since the EPIRA law 12 years ago. That’s all my little consumer brain can understand.

Remember when Congress passed a law to deregulate oil prices because our ultrasmart lawmakers felt it in their bones, that deregulation was the way to bring down costs? Well, they passed the law and we fell for it hook, line and fuel pump. Then they passed the Clean Air Act to protect us from pollution, and where did that get us? We’re fighting through the smog and can’t see what’s ahead, because what’s ahead is the specter of massive blackouts in the NCR in 2015. More people, more business, more activity but no new power plants.