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Facebook : Laban Konsyumer Inc.
Website : www.labankonsyumer.com
November 10, 2018
Hon. Sherwin T. Gatchalian
Chair, Senate Committee on Energy
Hon.Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco
Chair, House Committee on Energy
Hon. Alfonso G. Cusi
Secretary, Department of Energy Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Hon. Agnes Vicenta S. Torres-Devanadera
Chairperson, Energy Regulatory Commission
Laban Konsyumer Inc. is steadfast and renews its advocacy once again for immediate action to be taken against the Feed-In-Tariff Allowance being charged to consumers? electric bills and thus burdening consumers with high prices. The group also asked for action to be taken against missionary and universal charges as well.
Your honors, what should be done is to take out costs like Fit-All, Universal Charge, Missionary charges from the bills being billed to consumers. We addressed to your Honors regarding Fit-All and legislation regarding the other charges. We believe that the state should answer for these charges, and not consumers. Especially with inflation hardening at 6.7% , we believe that this burden of additional power charges on consumers should be removed from their shoulders.
You?re Honors, why should consumers in Metro Manila continue to pay for users in farflung areas. Why will I pay for renewable energy subsidies? I don?t mind paying as long as it is the true cost. We wish to make clear that we are lamenting and criticizing the inaction on all these important issues. Consumers should pay the true cost, but not additional charges for electricity that we do not even use ourselves.
Your Honors, there is urgency in the issue like Fit-All, since FIT-All is collected from electric consumers nationwide and is used to subsidize payments to select RE developers. But what is alarming though is that FIT-All has increased more than six fold from 4-c/kWh in 2015 to 25-c/kWh starting June 2018. There are pending petitions to further increase this to as much as 29-c/kWh and will continue to increase for the balance of a 20 year period. We are asking regulators and government to put a stop to this unjust and overpriced component of consumers? electricity bills.
In a recent meeting with the ERC Chair, LKI pointed out that the FIT-All Rate Petitions are the only cases where the Commission grants a rate that is higher than what was asked by the Petitioners. In fact, the FIT rates granted to developers have been shown to be far too expensive. For example, the solar rates signed by electric distributors with developers, as submitted to the ERC for approval, are cheaper than the FIT rates that consumers nationwide will subsidize for 20 years.
Your Honors, Fit-All is an inflation issue, and thus a consumer welfare issue. Meralco has been reporting that 2018 power prices have been lower than they were in 2012, with only the Universal Charge and Fit-All showing increases. This is where government can help temper inflation. By considering Fit-All and universal and missionary charges as a burden to consumers, Your Honors can finally rectify and undo mistakes of the government in the past. Lower power rate can assist in the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Act.
We appreciate your favorable action accordingly.
Very truly yours,
Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, AB, LLB, LLM
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