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Nov 26th
Home Columns Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. Power Firms Barred From Passing on Systems Losses to Customers under Pimentel Bill
Power Firms Barred From Passing on Systems Losses to Customers under Pimentel Bill PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - This Week With Nene Pimentel
Thursday, 22 May 2008 12:39

Power distributors or retailers will be prohibited from passing on to consumers the costs of systems losses incurred in their operations under Senate Bill 2314 filed today by Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban).

The bill seeks to amend section 10 of Republic Act 7832, otherwise known as the Anti-Electricity Pilferage and Theft Act of 2002.

Echoing the consumers’ woes over the fact that electricity rates nowadays have already reached monumental heights, Senator Pimentel assailed the practice of private electric utilities and rural cooperatives of charging their customers even expenses or losses that they themselves should absorb as part of business risks.

“One of the reasons why electricity rates show no sign of decreasing is the fact that these power utilities are passing the burden of the so-called systems losses on to consumers,” Senator Pimentel said.Systems losses account for 8-percent of the monthly electric bills of MERALCO customers.

Senator Pimentel said it is unfair to pass such burden to the consumers of electricity.

“Why in heaven’s name should consumers who are not responsible for the systems losses – whether man-made or mechanically-cause – be made to pay for the losses?” he said.

“If the power firms make money, they keep it as profits. If they lose, they charge their losses to their customers! That’s not free enterprise at all. That’s fooling the people twice over because we are even told that the payments for systems losses are subjected to a 12-percent Value Added Tax, too that we have to bear.”

Since the systems losses are losses of the electric utilities, Mr. Pimentel said these should be shouldered exclusively by them.

Moreover, the opposition lawmaker said a huge percentage of the population lives below the poverty line and with the ever-increasing power rates, coupled with the recent shortage in the rice distribution, the poor can hardly cope even with the ordinary daily expenses. # # #

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Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2008 12:41

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