That is how the Freedom from Debt Coalition calls the ERC decision adopting Meralco’s proposal to refund those consuming at least 100kWh with outright cash in June.

The ERC decision shut down other proposals of consumer groups. It did not consider other options that could best serve consumer interests. The purported “independent” agency adopted the Meralco proposal without even considering the inputs of FDC and other consumer groups.

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We, from the Freedom from Debt Coalition, strongly urge the MWSS Board of Trustees to stand firm in honoring its commitment to protect the interest of the Filipino people in the operations and management of the West Zone concession area.

Today, as Maynilad presents its new business plan, let us clearly remember that the concessionaire's six-year presence in the water sector has only shamed the government and its water privatization policy.

Maynilad has not delivered on its promises. Water rates are unjustifiably high. Non-revenue water exceeds that of the former publicly owned MWSS. Maynilad refuses to pay the government P5 billion in concession fees but still charges consumers the amounts that are supposed to cover the concession fees. It blames the government for the termination of its concession contract. Now it negotiates for another chance at running the West Zone?

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Too Much is Enough!

Government should take immediate steps to scrap PPA and to stop the ballooning power rates!

Consumers continue to suffer from government’s inability to protect them, amid the left and right increases in power rates.

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The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) lambasted the Energy Regulatory Commission today for continuing to be deaf to the demands of consumers on the Meralco refund issue.

According to FDC they have time and again pressed for the Commission to address the following urgent matters in the interest of the public and the pursuit of justice, but these demands fell on deaf ears:

1. Hold in abeyance the implementation of refund and give consumers time to scrutinize the information and refund amount submitted by Meralco. The interest payment should be included in the computation of the refund amount. It is the right of the consumers to verify whether or not Meralco is shortchanging them of the amount they stand to receive.

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One year ago, Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo promised to bring down the cost of electricity by reducing the purchased power adjustment (PPA) by 30 centavos. It was her desperate move then to douse off people’s opposition against the omnibus power bill. But the PPA reduction then was not even felt. First, it was implemented for only a month. Second, the PPA got even higher each month.

Now, with growing public unrest against PPA, GMA is making yet another promise.

Just two days ago, GMA announced that she would bring down the cost of electricity by reducing the PPA to 40 centavos per kilowatthour consumed. This time, it will be a fixed amount for twenty years.

The problem is, such promise is obviously illusory.

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