Saturday, November 26, 2005

NR1126: Solon slams Meralco's lies about the rate hikes and EVAT

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release November 26, 2005

Solon says Meralco lying against its rate hikes and EVAT

Anakpawis Repressentative Crispin Beltran today said that there is nothing to be grateful for about the Energy Regulatory Commission's postponement on its decision regarding Meralco’s latest petition for a 14.76-centavo per kilowatt hour (kWh) rate hike.Meralco filed the petition in June. If implemented, it would add P29.52 to the monthly billing statement of a household that consumes 200 kWh. According to reports, the ERC will come up with the decision early next year.
"Meralco has already jacked its rates and it continues to increase them on a regular basis because of the unbundled rating scheme and the expanded value-added tax. The supposed delay in the implementation a new rate increase is nothing to be glad about because electricity rates are always on a steady rise anyway. There is nothing to thank the ERC or Meralco for," he said.

The ERC recently adopted Resolution 20 allowing power-generating companies, distribution utilities and the National Transmission Corp. to impose the 10-percent VAT on electricity sales. .Meralco customers will already be paying the 73-centavo rate hike reflecting the EVAT in December. The law imposes a 10-percent VAT on power and petroleum which were previously exempted.

"If the ERC was really concerned about the public welfare, it could have delayed even for a year the implementation of its Resolution 20 on the application of the EVAT on power, but it didn't. For all their denials, Meralco will still be slicing off considerable profits from the 73-centavo rate hike because of the EVAT. This is a done deal between the Macapagal-Arroyo government and the power and oil companies: they all want to bleed more profits at the expense of consumers via the EVAT," he said.

Beltran said that the ERC and Meralco are fooling no one with their statements and even advertisements regarding the EVAT and how Meralco is supposedly getting nothing from it. According to the various TV and radio ads it's been airing, Meralco will not benefit from the EVAT and that every centavo collected from the EVAT will go straight to the national govenrment.

"This is an added insult to the great injury that Meralco continues to cause its customers and the general public. Does Meralco think it's fooling anyone with this tripe? The computations for the rate hike are strictly between Meralco and the ERC, and between them, they can cook up and justify any formula they want and have Meralco skim off money from the EVAT collections in the process. It's most likely that Meralco will not be immediately remitting any EVAT collections to the national govenrment at the soons possible time. Ther's no genuine transparency in the way Meralco computes and adjusts its rates, and throwing in the EVAT, there'll be more magic tricks involved," he concluded.#


Blogger Meralco Watcher said...

Is it true that Meralco is skimming a few centavos off every electric bill? I tried checking it out by manually computing my past bills and the range of discrepancies range from 0.01 to 0.03 centavos. Considering that the number of customers Meralco has is 5.3 million, someone is potentially pocketing roughly between 50,000 to 150,000 pesos per month.

11:50 AM  

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