Friday, May 19, 2023

Nagkaisa joins call for re-nationalization of national grid, gov’t takeover of Malampaya

The country’s biggest labor coalition joins the mounting call for the re-nationalization of the national transmission assets in the wake of recurring power interruptions hitting Luzon and now extending into the entire Visayas grid.

We are aware that it is not only the businesses which bear the cost of the diminishing power supply situation, but more so the working class who are made to suffer the 20-40% increase in electricity inflation due to rising fuel costs in power generation, coupled with inefficiencies and transmission-related problems.  

For several decades now, workers witnessed how public utilities handed over to private corporations led mainly to wealth transfers from public to private rather than to better and more affordable services. We see them in power, water, and even telcos whose private owners wallow in profit, even during the pandemic, while much of the public remain energy poor and lacking adequate water and telco services. 

However, we call on the senators who want to get rid of Chinese control in the NGCP to extend the shakedown and reforms to local consortiums who wield monopoly or cartel power in the unbundled sectors of the industry.

We refuse to believe that simply getting these industries back to Filipinos would automatically translate to pro-worker and pro-people policies, until the State ensures it in the name of the people through sound regulation, or through democratization via people’s participation in running these industries and the whole economy as well. 

The same framework should be applied on the issue of Malampaya, which extended operations should have been restructured to promote national ownership, or socialization of its assets in favor of alternative utilization that would address both the country’s need for revenue as well as its planned transition to sustainable development. 

Unfortunately, those opportunities were all lost with the takeover of Dennis Uy and Ricky Razon. 

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