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Infra-oriented think tank calls senatorial bets to focus on lowering power rates

infrastructure-oriented think tank yesterday called on senatorial candidates to focus on lowering power rates for Filipino households.

“From the start of the campaign, most senate bets have merely been harping on motherhood statements on how to make power rates affordable to Filipinos. What we need are concrete, deliverable action plans on how to lower power rates.”

Thus said Terry Ridon, Infrawatch PH convenor and former member of the House committee on energy.

Ridon, who was also a former urban poor chief of the present administration, said that regardless of scheduled or unscheduled shutdowns, the present tight power supply will always lead to power rate hikes.

“One of the major campaign platforms we expect on power is how to increase power supply or capacity in the soonest possible time., particularly the reduction of bureaucratic redtape and a review of regulatory procedures.”

Ridon said that if tight power supply is not urgently addressed, distribution utilities have no alternative except to buy higher priced power supply from the spot market.

“This is most critical during the summer months, due to increased demand from Filipino households due to high temperatures and school break.”

Ridon said that government should take the lead in confronting tight supply during unscheduled outages.

“We would like to know the plans of senate bets on whether government should impose subsidies or provide incentives to cushion power rates in the event of unscheduled shutdowns.”

Ridon said that government was nowhere to be found to help Filipino households confront an unexpected power rate hike in late 2013.

“Given the critical nature of the power sector, it would be a good proposal to organize an election debate for senate bets focused on issues related to power and energy.”

Ridon said that even though senate bets have their own pet advocacies, issues related to the power sector are always a national concern.

“We cannot have a new set of senators relying merely on trite talking points to convince voters to support them.” (PR)

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