The Freedom from Debt Coalition calls on President Arroyo to take decisive and immediate action on water and electricity issues.

Water Issues

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should take steps to stop the Maynilad Water Services Incorporated from overcharging consumers. Maynilad continues to charge the Accelerated Extraordinary Price Adjustment despite the fact that the period for its collection ended in December 2002. It is also collecting the Foreign Currency Differential Adjustment, part of which is supposed to go towards payments of its concession fees, even as it has stopped payment of concession fees to government since April 2001. The overcharges is estimated to be PhP4 billion already.

The President should also compel Maynilad to pay for the concession fees it had not paid since April 2001. Maynilad now owes government some PhP5 billion. Government has been forced to incur new loans to pay for MWSS’ old loans.

In less than three months, the International Appeals Committee will announce its decision in the arbitration case between the Philippine Government and Maynilad Water Services Inc. Both parties moved to terminate the contract for Maynilad to run the water services of the West Zone of Metro Manila. The government should take this opportunity to restore public control and management of the water industry.

Energy Issues

The government should stop misleading consumers in saying that there is no more PPA.

The format of the electricity bill has changed but items that were part of the PPA are still collected from consumers under the Generation charge using the Generation Rate Adjustment Mechanism (GRAM), and under the Currency Exchange rate Adjustment, using the Incremental Exchange Rate Adjustment (ICERA).

Even as the PPA problem has not been solved, Philippine consumers now face the prospects of even higher rates. Petitions for rates increase are being deliberated at the Energy Regulatory Commission. National Power Corporation (NPC), for example, filed for a petition to increase the generation charges by PhP0.51-kWh in Luzon, PhP0.40-kWh in the Visayas, and PhP1.77-kWh in Mindanao.

FDC reiterates its demand for the government to abolish the PPA in its new forms, and to cancel all onerous contracts with Independent Power Producers.

President Arroyo should not seek a new term if it cannot protect the interests of the majority.

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