How's your electricity bill these days? Still high? Ever felt the need to see that bill low? Properly managed? I'm sure you do. Well, I've stumbled across something that may interest you since we're all consumers.
National Coordinator for Kuryente.org Nic Satur Jr. says "The unsolicited proposal will hinder competition, and provide corruption, bring misinformation in the bidding process. This was created for consumers to get the lowest cost. We'll now have a bidding under the mercy of power producers, remember, our bill has almost half of its cost from generation. The existing process makes it allow everyone to bid, and the unsolicited proposal can be done with terms for reference which will be made by the power producer themselves. Unsolicited Proposal is currently used in other projects, and to bring more players and technologies, they wanted to push for this. It is legal, but not needed, it will bring us back to a time where they get non-negotiated deals. If I am the power producer, I will just fix terms and challenge it with the price I want to win and disqualify other power producers. We're not saying this will lead to corruption, but if not done right, it will. At present, the Philippines is not ready for it, nor does it need it. The House Resolution 1874 should be discussed, to create implementing rules and regulation as its present form is very prone to sweetheart deals that would be detrimental to the consumer. The Filipino consumer will suffer."
Kuryente.org was created for energy consumer welfare and Amin or Anak Mindanao Partylist just issued a joint statement together with stakeholders, consumers and media entities aware of this:
Amihilda Sangcopan says "I join you today not just as a legislator but a member of electric power consumers. Amin has filed House Resolution 1874 to conduct investigation into DOE, to reconsider to amend its policy on competitive selection process in the power supply, entertaining unsolicited proposals that will breed unfair competition. It will hinder access to affordable electricity guaranteed by our constitution Article 12."
Ricky Juab, Mindanao based consumer adds "The situation of Misamis Oriental is really hard especially for electric cooperatives even now during the pandemic. We consumers wish that every policy that the government does, our side would be heard. We are suffering in Misamis Oriental, where our cooperative has failed to give supply electricity and we experience blackouts, most of which are fluctuating, breaking most of our household appliances... everyday we have been experiencing it, until now. Even informed, we still are experiencing power outages, but still getting the same bill. We sometimes get double, this happens with other consumers in Mindanao. DOE wants Unsolicited Proposal, which will disable most of our safeguards. It is prone to corruption, to follow their terms and conditions. Prices will get worse, so we consumers implore DOE to stop it. This is inhumane and improper."
Parent Mel Salda gave her thoughts and say "The pandemic pushed us all to work remotely. Working as a Virtual Assistant, it has increased our energy consumption, increased cost of living. DOE should ease our burden instead of adding to it. Unsolicited Proposal is going to get us to pay for an even higher price for electricity in Asia. This would be a burden to single parents like me."
It's good that they are doing this very early and not just reacting to it when it gets implemented. Just like them, I'd like to see relief for the Filipino people. If you want to know more about the energy sector and consumer protection, you may visit Kuryente.org who's part of the movement.