Press Release
March 8, 2010


Following a warning from the country's biggest power distributor that there will be an increase in electricity prices this month due to a hike in the cost of power supplied by generation companies, NP-NPC-LDP Vice-Presidential Candidate Loren Legarda today reiterated the need for proper action on the power crisis.

"Increasing rates are band aid solutions. We need to have a more sustainable and long term solution," said Loren, co-author of the Renewable Energy Law.

Meralco vice president for utility economics Ivanna De la Peña said a higher generation charge for March could be attributed to the tight power supply and higher WESM prices, and the fact the summer season had begun.

"We can't blame El Niño and climate change alone. That's just one part of the problem. Government should have foreseen and prepared for the drought. The country's leadership should focus on implementing the Renewable Energy Law because it has been more than a decade since we invested on power," Loren lamented.

She added, "Arroyo administration has made no investments in power for the last 10 years, including this year, despite a huge P1.5 trillion national bugdet. There is a dire need for government to invest in infrastructure and new sources of power."

The only green VP candidate who recently visited Mindanao which suffers from a 5-8 hours of brownouts vowed that she and running mate Senator Manny Villar will focus on the full implementation of the Renewable Energy Law and invest in infrastructure.

Loren outlined urgent measures such as making an inventory of all alternative power sources and immediately rehabilitate them. She also emphasized the importance of improving electric cooperatives.

"We cannot speak of development if we do not have power. We cannot speak of eradicating poverty if we cannot implement electrification in off-grid remote areas. How will business, commerce and schools operate if we have power outages 5-8 hours per day?" said Loren.

As of the February billing month, the generation charge had risen to P4.9303 per kilowatt-hour, up P1.01 per kWH from the previous month. Meralco will announce the final generation charge within the week.

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