Power consumers helpless under profit-greed power firms

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

By Joey Natividad

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region, 14April2015 (BicolToday.com) — Profit-minded power supplier San Miguel Energy Corporation (SMEC) has been publicly accused for threatening Albay consumers that their electricity be cut-off in their service areas if they continue protesting.

And just this month, the National Grid Corporation (NGCP) cut off the power supply for the Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO III) in Camarines Sur.

The NGCP action left some 78,000 consumers of Iriga City and in the Rinconada area without power supply.

To serve as background, the service area of CASURECO III in the 5th District of Camarines Sur suffered two weeks of blackouts last December 2013 which affected more than 85, 000 member-consumers.

These are condemned by consumer watch activist Vince Casilihan, saying “the private corporation has no right to forcefully disconnect the consumers last March 30, 2014. They should not be penalized for the failures of the CASURECO III board of directors as well as the National Electrification Administration (NEA).”

“It is not acceptable to deny them their rights for sufficient electricity. Under the Magna Carta for Electricity Consumers, it is the duty of the national government to protect the rights and interest of its people rather than leave them captive and helpless in an industry ruled by corporations through privatization,” Casilihan said.

According to him. NEA instead takes over electric cooperatives with the intent of turning them over to private corporations for their own profit and deprivation of democratic rights.

With that unfavorable government service, it will might experience what the Albay Electric Cooperative Inc. (ALECO) grievance on terminated employees when San Miguel Energy Corporation (SMEC) took over the electric cooperative in 2014.

On the same year, the same happened in Pampanga Electric Cooperative II, Inc. (PELCO II) where hundreds of regular employees were also displaced by NEA’s scheme of management contract. [BicolToday.com]

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