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Roque pushes for 50% cut on power rates

Harry Roque - Presidential Spokesperson

UniTeam senatorial aspirant Harry Roque is pushing to lower the country’s electricity rates by as much as 50 percent to unburden Filipinos who are reeling from the economic and health impacts of Covid-19 pandemic.

To lower existing power rates, Roque proposes to embed the generation sector to the transmission sector, separated under the EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act) law.

Roque, a former party-list representative in the House of Representatives 17th Congress, said EPIRA’s mandate is to ensure transparent and reasonable electricity prices in the country, which remains among the highest in Asia.

EPIRA, enacted into law in 2001, provides the regulatory framework to the local power industry that has transitioned into a market-oriented model.

He said such policy must provide consumer access to the least possible electricity cost to protect public interest vis-à-vis the exorbitant rates imposed by the Philippine electricity industry players.

“As consumers, we have carried high electricity charges like a cross on our shoulders,” Roque said. “The pandemic has exacerbated the situation since many people have lost their jobs, businesses, and livelihoods.”

“Electricity with the least cost on our pockets will be a welcome reprieve, especially to our kababayans who are eking out a living from unstable sources of income or scant resources,” he further said.

Roque explained that apart from generation cost, transmission charge plus system loss cost and value-added tax are reflected in the electric bill and recovered from consumers.

“Once the generation sector is embedded to the transmission sector, then we can expect that our current electricity charges to be slashed in half at most,” he said.

Roque said the government must offer incentives to distribution cooperatives to generate power from renewable and clean energy sources.

“We encourage the entry of more players in the generation sector, particularly in renewable energy, to honor our country’s commitment to various United Nations treaties massively reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Roque said.

He said this would be a win for the consumers because they would have more electric power providers.

Based on the 2018 study by the Australian-based International Energy Consultants, the Philippines has the highest power rates in Asia next to Japan.


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