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Group wants in on petition vs power supply agreements

MANILA, Philippines – Energy advocates on Friday asked the Supreme Court (SC) that they be allowed to intervene on a petition seeking the nullification of seven questionable power supply agreements  (PSAs) entered into by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

In its petition-in-intervention, Murang Kuryente Party-list (MKP) asked the SC to allow energy advocate Gerry Arances and labor leader Leody de Guzman to be part of a more than two-year old petition.

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The petition was originally filed by the Alyansa Para sa Bagong Pilipinas Inc. (ABP) asking the high court to prevent the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) from approving a 20-year power supply agreements (PSA) between Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and several general companies covering 3,551 megawatts or 90 percent of power supply requirements.

The intervenors said it is high time for the SC to act on the petition because the PSAs, once implemented, will lock in Meralco customers to paying much higher generation charges on their electricity bills for the next 20 years.

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“Meralco looks at its consumers as an infinite source of money, to be squeezed any time it needs to pay for the new cars and houses of its executives. We wish to be a part of this case to show the Supreme Court that the current petition against them is very important to all segments of society and can affect even the economic future of our country,” said Arances.

“What’s more, these PSAs all seek to further increase our dependence on coal, which is not only an expensive source of energy compared to renewables, but also introduce environmental and health hazards to the country. Consumers pay on so many levels, while Meralco just pockets the money,” he added.

Intervenors said the delay at the Supreme Court’s end gave Meralco and the other respondents enough time to come up with an agreement that is disadvantageous to the consumers.

Aside from Meralco, named respondents were the ERC, the Department of Energy, the Central Luzon Premiere Power Corporation, St. Raphael Power Generation Corporation,  Panay Energy Development Corporation, Mariveles Power Generation Corporation, Global Luzon Energy Development Corporation, Atimonan One Energy Inc., Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. and the Philippine Competition Commission.  / gsg

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