March 6, 2010
Crisis powers will lead to onerous contracts with power firms – JV Bautista
SENATORIAL candidate and human rights lawyer JV Bautista expressed concern today as Malacanang is mulling over a special session of Congress to resolve the power crisis in Luzon and Mindanao.
Bautista said, “Granting special powers to Arroyo like the same blanket authority given to (former president) Ramos at the height of the 1990s electricity crisis would usher in new versions of the onerous contracts with independent power producers”.
The lawyer recalled the controversial power purchase adjustment, commonly referred to as PPA, where “electricity bills blatantly revealed that consumers were being charged for unconsumed electricity”.
Bautista explained, “The PPA is part of the contract provisions between government and the independent power producers, who charged consumers not for the actual electricity they used. The rates were based on the capacity of the power plants, whether or not they actually produced such wattage of electricity.”
“It may be understandable, but not forgivable, for private power firms, driven by profit motive to use the current power crisis as an opportunity for unrepentant exploitation. But never would we condone the government if it would again act as accomplice to such dastardly act,” he stressed.
“I appeal to our lawmakers to think independently of the interest of the Arroyos. Do not grant special powers to the petty tyrant of Malacanang. We do not want another ZTE deal. If we have to enter into contracts with power firms, the people demand not only transparency in their provisions. More so, we need a Congress that would act as a mechanism for check and balance to the president, a legislature that truly defends the welfare and future of the Filipino people,” he concluded.-30-