Friday, August 26, 2005

NR0826:GMA's energy saving measures fall short

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
New Release August 26, 2005

GMA’s energy and oil conservation measures fall short; Petron buy-back and Meralco take-over are more decisive steps to end the artificial energy crisis

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the energy-saving and conservation measures being proposed and posed for implementation by the Macapagal-Arroyo administration were well and good, but they inevitably fall short. He said that in the need, these conservation measures will prove useless for consumers as they will still be forced to pay exorbitant electricity rates, high oil and diesel prices using very low wages and salaries.

“The issue is not so much saving energy or conserving fuel—it’s the pricing and rating mechanism of the oil and electricity companies that are killing consumers and the economy. Filipinos no longer have to be told about saving energy. Most households have already cut down their electricity consumption by unplugging their refrigerators or no longer ironing their work clothes, and not using the electric fans during the day. Despite all these energy saving measures, their monthly electricity bills are still high because Meralco in connivance with the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) constantly manipulate their electricity rates standards,” he said.

“As for saving fuel, this is already being done. Carpooling and using bikes as transportation has become the norm again; but these steps are no match for the greed and determination of the oil cartel of Shell, Caltex and Petron to jack their prices every week.”

“The Macapagal-Arroyo government is trying to score points with the public and increase its negative approval ratings by projecting that it’s doing something against the so-called energy crisis. The truth, however, is this: there’s no energy or oil crisis. The high electricity rates and oil prices are purely a product of the electricity and oil firms’ profit-hungry schemes which are in turn legitimized by the policies of oil deregulation and energy privatization,” he said

“If Pres. Arroyo were sincere in ending the so-called energy crisis, then she should begin by ordering Congress to repeal the oil deregulation and energy privatization laws. The government should take over Petron and Meralco, and protect the local oil and electricity industries from monopolies in the private sector,” he said. “All the other measures are weak – they only pay lip-service to the call of energy conservation. The oil companies and electricity firms led by Meralco and the Napocor are the biggest thieves and it’s their relentless price and rate-gouging that is creating this artificial crisis. Macapagal-Arroyo, by refusing to acknowledge this, is aiding and abetting them.”#


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