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Consumer group challenges Marcos-Duterte administration to address exorbitant electricity prices

Consumer group kuryente.org

Consumer welfare group kuryente.org is not wasting any time in putting pressure on the Marcos-Duterte administration to prioritize the energy sector, specifically to take drastic steps to lower the cost of electricity in the country.

“As early as now, we are calling on the Marcos-Duterte leadership to focus on the deteriorating energy sector. The Filipinos can no longer take the exorbitant prices of electricity coupled with poor services in many provinces, brownouts have become a way of life. To president Marcos: we are now cashing-in on your promises of a better Philippines,” shares Nic Satur, Jr. National Coordinator for Kuryente.org.

On 30 June, President-elect Bongbong Marcos will take his oath as the Philippines’ 17th president, his running-mate Sara Duterte is the country’s new vice president.

Philippine electricity prices are the highest in Southeast Asia at roughly US$0.20 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) or Php10 per kWh. High electricity costs are a burden to Filipinos. A sizable portion of a family!s income, that can be spent on food and other daily necessities, go to high monthly electric bills.

In previous interviews, Marcos spoke about addressing the country’s energy issues with policies and strategic investments once elected. According to him, “the price of power, and the reliability and availability of power is always an issue with investors… we have to fix the system.” Marcos mentioned how he plans to ensure energy security through diverse sources and investing in renewables.

Except for a few, small innovative interventions, competition in the Philippine energy sector is still poor. According to Kuryente.org, the lack of transparency, genuine competition and support from the government, and corruption have hampered the country!s competitiveness and progress compared to other Asian countries.

Kuryente.org is calling on the Marcos-Duterte administration to address a three-point people’s agenda on electricity:

  1. Lower cost of electricity by enforcing radical changes, including consumer representation in the energy sector.
  2. Provide better services by focusing on consumer welfare and out-rightly rejecting all proposals that do not champion consumer rights and sustainable development.
  3. Promote transparency and accountability in all levels of key government decision-making.

“Tama na, hindi na kaya ng mga Pilipino ang napaka-taas at patuloy pang tumataas na presyo ng kuryente. We are now at a turning point in our history with new leaders in the country, we are calling for them to make a commitment to put an end to high electricity costs and lack of transparency and accountability in the energy sector. Now is the time!” adds Satur.

Kuryente.Org is a consumer welfare organization that aims to pursue transparency and good governance in the energy industry sector with the ultimate objective of ensuring the rights of the people for a progressive energy sector and industry in the Philippines. To know more, visit kuryente.org.

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