CEBU, Philippines – The Trade Union Congress Party expressed its vehement objection to the start of the wholesale Electricity Spot Market in the Visayas on December 26 last year.
“WESM is a curse not a gift. It unleashes a permanent condition of rising power cost upon our consumers, institutionalizes over-reliance on dirty coal, and is a body blow to our local economy,” said TUCP Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza.
TUCP, in a press statement said that WESM was originally conceived under the Electricity Power Industry Reform Act as a mechanism to introduce competitiveness as all distribution utilities would be obligated to buy at least 10 percent of their power requirements from power generators bidding in supply through a power auctioneer or market.
The trouble, according to TUCP is that both the sellers and buyers really come from the same electricity oligarch or politician-turned-power mogul.
“The electricity market is really an area monopoly where for example an Aboitiz power generator sells to an Aboitiz electricity distributor, and this vertical integration of generator-transmission, and distribution means all our consumers are captive to their pricing whims. The power plants selling nearby are also in a monopoly situation over their own service franchise area with the same price-control exerted against the consumers. The 10 percent requirement is just camouflage so that the power moguls can rig the market,” explained Mendoza.
TUCP explained that WESM is just being introduced to confuse the consumers as to who is to blame for their overpriced power, “Equally repugnant to us, is because there is no real competition – except the WESM moro-moro — we are forever tied to dirty, inefficient and expensive coal,” said Mendoza. (FREEMAN NEWS)