Workers’ indignation over the Purchased Power Adjustment (PPA) continue to escalate as thousands joined various mass actions aimed at: dramatizing the people’s indignation over the unjust collection of PPA; to reiterate the movement’s call for the rescinding of NAPOCOR’s and MERALCO’s onerous contracts with different Independent Power Producers (IPPs); and, the abolition of the PPA.
The protesters’ message is simple: “We don’t want to pay for electricity that we do not consume and we do not want to pay the IPPs for power that they do not even produce,” Josua Mata, APL Secretary General declared. “There is only one solution to this problem, and that is the abolition of the PPA,” he added.
Last 7 June, 300 APL activists stormed the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) in Cebu city.
Last 4 June, pickets, rallies, noise barrages and “lights-off” in numerous communities marked the National Day of Protest Against the PPA. For its part, APL stormed the headquarters of the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) in the morning, picketed the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) in the afternoon and capped the day by leading the noise barrage and “lights off” in the communities around NAPOCOR.
In Davao, tomatoes rained at the administrative office of the Davao Light and Power Company, as APL militants protested the power firm’s .24 centavo increase proposal and the controversial PPA.
In MERALCO, APL militants joined Akbayan in serving a “statement of billing” against the power company for overcharging its consumers these past few years by passing on its contractual obligations to its own IPPs, some of which are suspected of being as onerous as NAPOCOR’s IPP contracts.
In an impromptu debate during the mass actions, a MERALCO manager was forced to admit that it would continue to collect PPA from its consumers to cover its own IPP contracts (despite the suspension of NAPOCOR’s PPA collections).
In the afternoon, APL militants, together with Akbayan, picketed the headquarters of NAPOCOR to reiterate its call for the abolition of the PPA.
The picket in NAPOCOR segued into a noise barrage and “lights off” in the urban poor communities around NAPOCOR.
Members of the Confederation of Independent Unions in the Public Sector (CIU) and youth activists from the Movement for the Advancement of Student Power (MASP) and Alyansa were also present during the protest actions.
The National Day of Protest Against the PPA was spearheaded by the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC).