The high cost of electricity, the bane of foreign and local users, has chances of being brought down to reasonable levels soon, Senator Sergio R. Osmeña III said.
Osmeña, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, cited the 20 to 25-year “legacy” energy contracts signed during the administration of then President Fidel V. Ramos from 1995 to 1997 that prevented the Philippines from being plunged into darkness that will soon end.
“Puwede ng baguhin ang (We can now amend the) contracts and bring it down to reasonable levels,” Osmeña said of the Ramos-signed power contracts, which bound the government to pay high electricity costs produced by foreign companies.
“Thank God. The $30 per barrel of oil in 2001 went up to $120. Now, it is about $30 per barrel. We have the chance to bring down the cost of power,” he explained.
After Japan, the Philippines has the highest power rate in the southeast and east Asian region.
To help the Philippines move up economically trapped in no small measure by high electricity cost, Osmeña said that amendments to the restrictive economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution crafted during the term of President Corazon “Cory” Aquino is now a must.
Under the Constitution, foreign investors are allowed only a maximum 40 percent capital inflow in investments in corporations with their local counterparts.
February 28, 2016