Monday, March 10, 2014

More Photos, Forum on Electricity on the Go

Here are more photos from the ETC applicants Datigan batch which organized the forum on "Electricity on the Go: An Assessment of EPIRA" last Thursday, March 06, 2014, at the College of Engineering Theater, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

Atty. Debora Anastacia T. Layugan, Director of Market Operations Service, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Ms. Maria Teresa "Maitet" Diokno of the Center for Power Issues and Initiatives (CPII) and the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC).

During the open forum. I reiterated that many of the electricity angsts of the public were not created by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA). For instance, (1) Meralco monopoly is not created by EPIRA but by the Constitution (utilities reserved solely for Filipinos) and Congressional franchising. (2) Multiple taxation of power (royalties on natural gas, local taxes, excise tax, VAT, other taxes that all contribute to expensive electricity, were not created by EPIRA but by various tax laws, national and local. (3) Bureaucracies that make it difficult for new players and generating companies (gencos) to come in resulting in limited competition were not created by EPIRA but by various regulations, enacted by Congress or the various agencies (DOE, DENR, BIR, LGUs, etc.).

In short, calls to repeal EPIRA and go back to government centralization and monopolization of power generation and transmission are misplaced and wrong.

Awarding of Certificate of Appreciation. Signed by Christian Dave Gonzales (right), Batch Head of Datigan 13-B, Khim Carla Bautista and Alyanna Mae Volpane, Project Heads of Electricity on the Go.

The audience. Though held at the College of Engineering, they were mostly Economics majors.

The organizers also invited two students outside UPSE to give their reaction to the forum.

The two young and articulate program MCs.

Photo with Datigan Batch. They are a bunch of intelligent, lively and wacky guys.

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