eastwind journals 90 – MERALCO BLAMES ALL EXCEPT ERC

OFW CARTEL LOOMS / Meralco Blames All Except ERC


By Bernie Lopez


eastwind journals 89


Dole Sec Baldoz to Saudi with 17 Agencies


OFW advocates are in panic over the rumored trip of DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz together with a select group of more than a dozen Philippine recruitment agencies, many of which are reportedly fronting for Arab owners. They will allegedly sign an agreement which will pave the way for a centralized super-agency to handle all placements to Saudi Arabia. If DOLE is in the forefront, is this then a bilateral Saudi-Philippine agreement? There have been no consultations with the OFW community, which may make any bilateral agreement illegal and open to a court case, where Malacanang and DOLE are the key respondents. There was a similar attempt in 1995 by a firm called SANARCOM, which failed due to massive protests from OFWs.


The perceived impact in the view of the OFW advocates is the rise of an “OFW Cartel” which will corner the multi-billion Saudi placement industry, resulting in 1) lowering of salaries dictated by the cartel by as much as 20% to 40%, 2) centralization of all recruitments into a select Arab-owned Philippine agencies subservient to and part of the cartel.


Already, there is talk of the mobilization of a mega-rally to stop the signing in Saudi Arabia of the bilateral agreement, which will trigger the formation of the OFW Cartel. The cartel will result in the dramatic decrease in OFW remittances to the Philippines, which would in turn have adverse effects on the Philippine economy, since labor export is the largest dollar income of the Philippines. We have about 10 million OFWs worldwide earning about US$24 billion a year. Saudi has the third largest of 1.5 million OFWs translating into about US$850 million to 1 billion a year. Saudi Arabia has an ongoing mammoth infrastructure mega-project of a staggering $437 billion or almost half a trillion, which would need tens of thousands of our OFWs. eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com


IEC Defends Meralco


eastwind journals 90


By Bernie Lopez


During the hearing last February 4, the Supreme Court chided Meralco, saying it should not be scared of the ERC. Meralco blamed everyone else for the rate increase – the open market (PEMC / WESM), the power suppliers (GENCOs), the transmission firm (NGCP), all except the ERC and itself. If Meralco says one bad word against ERC, it is dead. To Meralco, everyone is a bad boy except itself and ERC, its partner in crime of illegal automatic increases TROed by the Supreme Court. On the February 11, Supreme Court will put ERC is on the chopping block.


When a dog is cornered, it fights back with fangs from a frothing mouth. Meralco thus gives a threat that if the illegal increases are not permitted, there will be more brownouts, especially this coming summer. The Supreme Court points out that Meralco does not have to play bad boy and still get its pie.


IEC Defends Meralco
Columnist Boo Chanco brought out the argument of the global oil industry in defense of Meralco. Boo posted a summary of the findings of the International Energy Consultants (IEC) which essentially says Meralco does not have the highest rates in Asia. The reply is simple. First, it does not matter if Meralco is in first, second, or third place. What matters is the rates are VERY VERY HIGH, and the last increase is THE HIGHEST IN PHILIPPINE HISTORY. That should be enough to quiet the defenders of Meralco. Second, IEC represents the interests of the global oil industry, and Meralco is their client. It is just natural for them to be biased for Meralco. It is another PR counterpoint from Meralco, but I am sorry, it won’t work.
In fact, consumers may be paying for IEC consultancy to Meralco. Meralco has a “regulatory reset consultant” charged to consumers. There are dozens of other invisible items charged to consumers.
%d bloggers like this: