SBN 1473 - 3 Gives Bill on utility bills.

2020-05-21 02:00:06

LKI 2020-027 Press Statement 


May 21, 2020




"COMMITTEE ON TRADE, COMMERCE & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Joint with the Committee on Public Services

May 21, 2020 * Thursday* 11:30 AM

Venue: Via Online/Teleconferencing






Outline:


1. Call to Order and Acknowledgment of Member-Senator present by the Chair, SEN.  AQUILINO "KOKO" PIMENTEL III


2. Acknowledgment of Guests and House Rules by On-Site Committee Secretary (Ms. Bernadine Mahinay)


House Rules on the conduct of hearing via online/teleconferencing has been emailed by the Secretariat to all resource persons on May 20, 2020.



3. Discussion:  


Agenda: Senate Bill No. 1473, entitled, AN ACT INSTITUTIONALIZING AN INSTALLMENT PAYMENT SCHEME ON BASIC UTILITY BILLS DURING CALAMITIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, TO BE KNOWN AS THE ‘THREE-GIVES LAW’ by Sen. Tolentino.


a. Opening Statement by the Author (Sen. Tolentino)


b. Position/Comment of resource persons:


i. PUBLIC AGENCIES


a) Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), USEC. RUTH B. CASTELO 

b) Department of Energy (DOE), MS. MARIETTA QUEJADA, Supervising Science Research Specialist

c) Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), MR. JECI A. LAPUS, Administrator

d) Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), MR.  LESTER N. TY, 

e) Chief Regulator

f) National Electrification Administration (NEA), ATTY. ROSSAN ROSERO-LEE, Deputy Administrator for Legal Services

g) Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), COMMISSIONER AGNES VICENTA S. TORRES-DEVANADERA, Chairperson


ii. PRIVATE AGENCIES


a) PLDT, Inc., ATTY. KEVIN AVERELL A. PANGAN, Head of PLDT Regulatory Compliance and Proceedings

b) Smart Communications, ATTY. ROY CECIL D. IBAY, Head/VP,  Legal and Regulatory (*will also represent Philippine Chamber of Telecom Operators (PCTO), the umbrella organization of telecom companies nationwide composed of ETPI, PT&T, Pldt, Globe, Smart, Digitel, Innove, Philcom & Paptelco,  as its Vice President.)

c) Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), MR. LAWRENCE S. FERNANDEZ, VP & Head of Utility Economics

d) Globe Telecom, ATTY. ARIEL TUBAYAN, Director, Policy Division

e) Maynilad Water Services, Inc., MR. RANDY ESTRELLADO, Chief Operating Officer

f) Manila Water, MS. ESMERALDA R. QUINES, Group Director for East Zone Business Operation


iii. ASSOCIATIONS/ CONSUMER GROUP


a) Philippine Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Inc. (PHILRECA), ATTY. JANEENE DEPAY-COLINGAN, Executive Director/General Manager

b) Philippine Electric Plant Owners Association (PEPOA), ATTY. RANULFO OCAMPO, President



c) Laban Konsyumer Inc., ATTY. VICTORIO MARIO DIMAGIBA, President


c. Question/Queries from Senators


d. Action to be taken by the Committee


4. Adjournment.


Laban Konsyumer Inc . Position Paper



P.O. Box 1161, QCCPO, NCR, Philippines 1100

Cell No.    : +63 917-812-5546

Email        : labankonsyumer@gmail.com

                  : dimagibavic@gmail.com

                  : dmagiba@pldtdsl.net

Facebook: Laban Konsyumer Inc.

 Website     :  www.labankonsyumer.com


May 15, 2020


Ms. Jingle Concon-Allam

Committee Secretary

Committee on Trade, Commerce and Enterpreneurship

Philippine Senate 


Subject : SBN 1454 and 1473


Sir/Madam:


The Laban Konsyumer Inc. is a non-stock and nonprofit consumer organization created under Philippine laws, is a registered local consumer organization of the Department of Trade and Industry under CPAB Recognition No. 2019 -0001 and a full term member of the Consumers International under Membership No. F-3058.


We fully support the above Senate Bills as we continue to learn lessons from the Covid 19 pandemic. 


We respectfully submit our position paper as follows:


1. The Committee may consider to adopt the pandemic and calamity definition of terms in SB No. 1454 in the definition of state of calamity in SB 1473. That makes the above Bills synched in their coverage and application.


2. We also propose that the Three Gives payment plan be considered minimum installment periods as the duration of the existence and impact of a pandemic is unpredictable and the implementing agencies should be empowered to prescribe the duration, terms and conditions of an instalment plan. Utility bills incurred during the pandemic period should be free of interest, penalties and charges.


3. SB 1454 on amendments to the Price Act as amended should include Test Kits in the enumeration of basic necessities.

the 


4. In the LKI letter to the Committee dated March 16, 2020 on the same subject matter to the Committee, our proposal is to include Health Protective equipment as additional items in the enumeration of  basic necessity in times of the pandemic calamity.  As such, the retail prices are automatically frozen on the date of the declaration of the existence of the calamity.


5. The duration of the effectivity of the price freeze should be coterminous to the period of the declaration of the pandemic calamity until lifted, and could be more than 60 days, without need of further extension beyond 60 days. 


6. The implementing agencies should set the Suggested Retail Prices of the proposed additional items in the Price Act as proposed in the Bill, including charges and fees of laboratory testing facilities. 


We are ready to be a resource person in the event a Technical Working Group is formed for the purpose.


Finally, we appreciate the opportunity extended by the Committee to submit a position paper on the above powerful Bills filed by Senator Francis Tolentino and Senator Joel Villanueva.



Very truly yours,


 



Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, AB, LLB, LLM

President

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