eastwind journals 68


By Bernie Lopez
Mabuhay Philippines


Anyone can re-publish in conventional or internet media,
with credits and notification please.
The views in this article are the author’s alone.
Philippine power utility MERALCO continues to punish consumers, demanding deposits to cover future defaults amounting to P26 billion, on top of soaring rates higher than Tokyo’s. Announcement for class action suit will be published soon.
The electric rates of Meralco for Metro-Manila is higher than those for Tokyo. In the past, Meralco was caught charging all types of non-sense to consumers, such as a Sports Complex. The Supreme Court consistently reverses the decisions of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), which accommodates rather than regulates. Billions have been ordered refunded to consumers. The unholy alliance between Meralco and ERC elements has been cited in the media, but they continue to punish consumers and get away with it. Are they untouchable and unstoppable? There is a move to have the ERC abolished for not fulfilling its mandate of protecting consumers. There is also a move to organize a massive consumer-based class action suit versus Meralco and ERC on demands for advance deposits on future defaults, and other issues.
The hold of Meralco over the media is total, because they have millions in budget for PR per year. Also, media outfits risk losing millions in advertising income if they publish a critical article. This is called ‘self-censorship’. Writers report that their articles are shelved by editors. Critical articles suddenly disappear. One writer reported just yesterday that she was advised to stop writing about Meralco and Maynilad (the water utility), or else …. Both are under the control of Manny V. Pangilinan, whose empire covers expressways, hospitals, plantations, mining firms, you name it.
When MVP makes an offer, the price doubles. MVP is omnipresent in Philippine enterprise, dipping his fingers into anything that glitters. MVP’s empire is not totally Filipino, as its inter-twining corporate labyrinth has Malaysian origins.
The latest is the raging issue of a one-month deposit that Meralco, already oozing in profits, is demanding from consumers, to cover possible customer defaults, on top of the already oppressive higher-than-Tokyo rates. This is integrated into monthly bills, implying that non-payment means  electricity cut-off. Consumer watchdog NASECORE branded the Meralco caper as illegal for “lack of due process” on the arbitrary imposition of deposit amount. Also, can Meralco legally cut-off electricity for paying customers who have no debts?
Meralco will collect from deposits a mind-blowing P26 billion, enough to feed Metro-Manila urban poor for three months. Monthly interest income alone can easily support 500 senior citizens indefinitely. The core issue here is corporate greed based on the helplessness of consumers under threat of electricity cut-off. Do they need the money for a new venture?
A small group is considering to organize a massive class action suit by consumers against Meralco on this issue, a first-ever, if it pulls through. Meralco may not not even blink, confident that it will, like always, get its way. They have good lawyers, and have nothing to lose. And they know anyone who opposes the giant may end up with candle-lit dinners. The gi-ant needs some lessons from ants. eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
Mother Ignacia Healing Ministry INSPIRATIONALS
intelligence wins wars
wisdom avoids wars
intelligence maximizes profits
wisdom shares profits
intelligence wants victory
wisdom wants peace
excerpt from the book foodforthesoul
available in most national bookstore outlets nationwide
inspirational youtubes
the art of discovering yourself
volume 1 – http://youtu.be/Am1llSEwUV8
volume 2 – http://youtu.be/PUhqplNZi-s


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especially archive 09 (anecdotes library)


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