Today, workers belonging to the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) picketed the MERALCO Office to protest the private utility company’s continued collection of PPA payments to cover its own obligations to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and to reiterate its call for the abolition of the Purchased Power Adjustments (PPA).
The picketers continued to encourage MERALCO customers to have their electricity bills stamped with “under protest” markings.
The suspension of PPA payments slapped by the government to quell the snowballing protest against onerous IPP contracts covers only those that are contracted by the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR).
While the suspension is a welcome move, it is simply not enough. After all, MERALCO gets half of its power directly from its own IPPs, including those owned by the Lopezes themselves.
This means that the promised 80-centavo reduction in PPA payments would not be realized so long as MERALCO is allowed to collect PPA to cover its own IPP contracts, some of which are believed to be as onerous as NAPOCOR’s IPP contracts.
The APL also criticized current legislative measures calling for government to absorb portions of the PPA as unacceptable.
“Congress is ignoring the crux of the problem. We don’t want to pay for power that we don’t use, whether it is collected through PPAs or whether it is through taxes! The only solution acceptable for workers is one that is not premised on meeting the obligations of NAPOCOR and MERALCO to their onerous IPP contracts. All onerous IPP contracts must be rescinded” Josua Mata, APL Secretary General said.