House Deputy Minority Leader Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said that they are studying the filing of a bill that will ban cross-ownership between distribution utilities (DUs) and power generation companies (gencos) “so as to stop the anti-consumer self-dealing transactions among these companies.”
“This amendment to ban cross-ownership between DUs and gencos is now becoming a must in the meantime that the Electric Power Induatry Reform Act (EPIRA) is not yet fully repealed,” Zarate said.
The progressive leader issued the statement as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) ordered the Manila Electric Co. to refund P1.4 billion in excess collection of the transmission charge, systems loss charge, lifeline subsidy, and senior citizen subsidy.
However, he said, this “victory for consumers is a phyrric one” as the ERC also ordered the recovery from consumers of P2.38 billion supposed undercollected generation charges by Meralco.
“These types of ‘bigay-bawi’ schemes are what we are trying to prevent especially since we are still investigating the billions of overcharging of Meralco in the past years. Sa halip na makaluwag ang consumers ay lalo pang masisingil ng mahal dahil kalakhan naman ng generation companies ngayon ay may parte o buong pag-aari ng Meralco at iba pang DUs,” said the House Deputy Minority Leader.