Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate appealed anew to the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to waive its scheduled power rate hike this month amid the continuing pandemic.
Zarate said that Meralco has yet to reply to his appeal for Meralco to aid consumers during the lockdown by waiving the power rate hike this month.
"Until now, no response from Meralco," Zarate said in an inteview.
Zarate added that regulatory agencies like the Department of Energy (DOE) and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) have failed to prevent the said price increase due to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).
"This is the problem with EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act) and the deregulation, our regulatory agencies, DOE & ERC, are apparently becoming or made useless or inutile to prevent these increases in the midst of grave crisis aggravated by the pandemic," said the congressman.
Zarate accused Meralco of prioritizing profit over the welfare of its consumers.
"Profit-seeking still trumps even pure humanitarian considerations," he said.
The congressman stressed that waiving the power rate hike won’t affect Meralco as it earned P21.71 billion last year.
A power rate hike of .0965 centavos per kilowatt hour to P9.0036 per kWh fromlast month’s P8.9071 per kWh is scheduled this August.
This is the fifth consecutive month that Meralco raised its power rates since March this year.