LKI 35th PRESS STATEMENT
Emailed to Director Domingo Tolentino Jr., DTI Consumer Protection Advocacy Bureau
CONSUMER GROUP WELCOMES PRICE REDUCTION IN ELECTRICITY AND THE APPRECIATION OF THE PESO, CALLS ON REVIEW OF BASIC AND PRIME GOODS SRPS
In light of the news regarding the appreciating peso against the dollar, as well as the announcement of Meralco that there will be an 11 centavo per kilowatt hour decrease in the price of electricity this month, Laban Konsyumer Inc. welcomed the rollback in the cost of power and declared it to be a relief for consumers, and stressed that this trend of lowered prices must continue also in the SRPs of basic and prime goods, as logic follows.
In a letter to Director Domingo Tolentino Jr., of DTI Consumer Protection Advocacy Bureau, President of LKI Vic Dimagiba stated that “it has been three consecutive months already of decrease for the price of electricity, and consumers can be relieved once again of the burden on their bill. These past three months, Meralco customers have enjoyed a total of 57 centavos per kilowatt hour decrease in their rates. This month alone, the average household can reach more than a 20 pesos reduction in their total electricity bill.”
The group further explained that “there are two points from the consumer perspective: one is that we have enjoyed three months of total rollback when it comes to power, and also a total of 57 centavos per kilowatt hour. This has also been paired with three months of the peso appreciating against the dollar. These are a series of months where we see the value and power of the peso growing against the dollar.”
Dimagiba pointed out the positive effects of these circumstances, saying “these are major factors which should have a big impact on imported raw materials and electricity costs of manufacturers of basic and prime goods. This is the perfect time for a review of existing SRPs for possible rollbacks. We at LKI believe that the government must also focus on the indirect effects of factors such as lower cost of electricity being paired with the improving peso.”
The consumer group continued by highlighting how “it goes to follow if manufacturers and producers have been experiencing continuous low costs in terms of the power they need to operate, and added on to this phenomena is the rising peso, we as consumers can expect that prices of basic and prime goods and commodities will go down as well, since the cost of producing and even importing will be cheaper.”
Dimagiba called on the government to “do a review of the SRPs, and see and assess if these basic and prime goods are following suit, with this ongoing trend of lowered electricity costs and appreciating peso. Only then can we see how consumers should already be benefitting and enjoying the lower costs of basic and prime goods. We must be informed of the impact in percentage, of the percentage appreciation of the pesos to dollars. It is being included in major raw materials at 40 to 60 percent.”
In closing, LKI also brought up the country’s power situation, showing how “even though we have been seeing three straight months of power rate decrease, the Department of Energy should still closely monitor the already running power generators and the power plants as the number of red and yellow alerts is increasing and the power situation supply is thinning. This past supply month alone, we have suffered five red alerts due to power plant outages. The government should fast-track its efforts to building more power plants so that the growing power demand can be met by additional supply and capacity. With more supply of power, our economy can advance and develop even further.”
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