The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) today warned utility companies from taking advantage of the reported water and power supply to justify their failures in delivery of service and future rate increases.

“While we recognize the effects of the below-than-normal rainfall, or drought, over the past two months to our water and power supply, we are equally alarmed over the possible implications of this issue and are calling on concerned government agencies to protect the interests of the people first before that of the water and power utilities,” said FDC in a statement.

FDC cited the failure of water utilities in their service targets for installing water connections in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

“In 2004, the government had identified 212 waterless communities in Metro Manila alone and had targeted 2010 to finally address this problem. However, until now, majority of these communities are still suffering from absence of piped water supply,” the FDC said.

The advocacy group likewise believed that there is really no electricity shortage if we refer to the dependable capacity of both government and independent power producers.

“Long brownouts should not be experienced in Luzon even in the coming days because we have installed generating capacity of 10,466 MW, as of end-2006, more than enough to supply Luzon’s peak demand of about 6,100 MW. Luzon only relies 17.3 percent or 1,812 MW of its dependable power capacity from hydropower plants,” FDC said.

As regards the government’s claim of lack of coal supply as one reason for power shortage, the group said: “We received information that Napocor’s coal-fired power plant is using a low-quality of coal, thus resulting in low production of electricity.”

The group further expressed fears that the report is maybe just part of the mind conditioning of the government and its corporate allies for the consumers to accept cover-ups on issues besetting the power industry.

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