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Spare us the "Losses" Please


Our Meralco bill used to be around 2,800 pesos. The last month's bill however is just a little shy of 4,000 pesos. Tsk, tsk. I guess there's no stopping power rates from skyrocketing. I suppose the inevitable is here and we must learn to accept it. Gone are the days when electricity computation is extremely easy. I remember being taught in school how to read those Meralco meters, subtracting the previous month's reading from the current month's and then multiplying it with the prevalent rate per kilowatt-hr. And voila! You have the amount due. Now, it's a little bit complicated than that. The frequent clamor for a lower charge has left Meralco with no choice but to "unbundle" the computation specifying where the payment goes to. They would have opted to just lower the rate but I guess that was too much to ask (if we are to believe that they're doing their best to give us the lowest rate) so they chose to just lay out the specifics, hoping that will appease consumers. Apparently, it didn't help at all. Remember electricity "pilferage"? Ring any bell? Well, why would there be a need to track down energy robbers when they can easily get this "loss" from us consumers? Under the "Systems Loss" category, technical and non-technical losses are paid for by end users -- us. Natural and technical losses, those that we can't do without, well I guess we can accept that. But those non-technical ones like power cables and transformers being stolen, can't you spare us that? Please tell us why this is so? Or better yet, can't you find other solutions than just charging this to our bills? There are talks of suspending the VAT for both gas and power, and with Meralco, VAT accounts for a significant amount. However, I personally believe that this should be deliberated well because there are clear repercussions to this move. I read an article that reducing power rates would actually be more anti-poor in that the rich people would actually benefit from this. And this must be true since the needy actually had their power accounts cut-off already. This problem is bigger than how we see it. And it therefore needs a bigger solution and suspending VAT will be a small solution to an already mammoth problem. Something else has to be done, I wish I knew what. But if people in government and business can't think of any, how can they expect commoners like myself to come up with a brilliant idea? Or maybe, they actually know what to do, only that they lack the political will and the business will at that, to act out the plan in their heads because they will somehow be inconvenienced by this plan. Pity. We need more self-sacrificing people around here. I guess what I can do now is use power wisely and sparingly. I guess I should start by using the laptop instead of this desktop. My appeal on the "system loss" charges stay, though.. :)

2 comments:

4ever7 said...

In terms of electric distribution rates, we rank second in Asia and third in the world.

RJ Marmol said...

tsk, tsk.. see.. oh dear..the regulating bodies has to something about this.. we can't live like this, inflation rate is high enough..