LKI Press Statement 2021-035

P.O. Box 1161, QCCPO, NCR, Philippines 1100

Cell No.    : +63 917-812-5546

Email        :



Facebook: Laban Konsyumer Inc.

 Website     :

LKI Press Statement 2021-035

September 25, 2021

Consumer group allays fear of  looming power crisis and high  prices  of electricity

Consumer group advocate Vic Dimagiba of Laban Konsyumer Inc. allays  fear of a looming power crisis in the supply of natural gas   and resulting high prices for the commodity on the scheduled shutdown of the Malampaya natural gas plant next month.

On that  subject , Dimagiba  in a position paper  to the Senate Committee on Energy on September 21, 2021 ,listed  the following actions should be considered, namely:

  1. I reiterate the need for electric cooperatives (ECs) to consider bidding out more of their power requirements from power producers through a competitive selection process (CSP) instead of relying heavily on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) must ensure that there will be no failed biddings when these ECs conduct their respective CSPs. Regulators should supervise the supply imbalance or distortions of ECs that buying more from the spot market when there is another alternative to source power at the least cost for the benefit of the consumers.

  •  The Malampaya contractor, and not the consumers,   should bear the price impact of the unplanned maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya Deepwater-to-Gas Power Project last September 11 and 12, 2021 that reduced the generation capacity available to the Luzon grid.  
  •  I urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to mandate Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) to give a more detailed report on the gas field’s remaining volume, instead of just asking them to explain the recent shutdown incident. Consumers deserve to know if the Malampaya is still capable of providing gas supply to the gas-fired power plants, as this could push power rates to increase further.

4. On the planned maintenance shutdown in October, the DOE and the ERC should invoke the mandate given to   them by Presidential Proclamation 1218. About 4 years ago, ERC approved a one-time Php 0.66 pkwh (which was billed in 3 installments) increase in Meralco generation charges considering the alternative fuel used were much more expensive over the Shell contract. This should never happen again.

5. The ERC and the DOE can use their extraordinary powers under the Proclamation No 1218 to source funds and to shield consumers from the added cost. Otherwise, the hapless consumers will bear the brunt of an unavoidable power rate hike through no fault on them.

6. The no disconnection policy and actual meter reading do not help consumers in dire needs of sustenance. This is the __nth occasion where DOE and ERC cannot source public funds for qualified beneficiaries.

7. The Murang Kuryente Act has become the consumers’ conundrum. Consumers continue to pay for stranded contract cost that should   have been stopped as of the effectivity date of the Act in August 2019.              We urge them to look at this date and follow the law.

        We hope that any congressional hearing will not end up to be merely sharing and overload of technical data.

          The consumers should no longer be made to absorb higher power rates plus suffer brownouts arising from the Malampaya natural gas shutdown.

Leave a Reply