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What’s with Mr Garcia’s Shook-up of MERALCO?

Meralco is making money more than it should be. It charges its customers the highest rate in Asia or anywhere else in the world. They are among the heavy volleys let out by Mr. Winston Garcia of the GSIS, or Government Service Insurance System, directed at the Lopezes of Meralco.

Roughly, Philippine government through the GSIS owns a third of the Meralco while the Lopez group also owns about the same proportion. Mr. Winston Garcia who is currently GSIS administrator, seats as member of Meralco’s Board, representing government.

To observers like me, Mr. Garcia appears no more sore at the Lopez group. One of his open criticisms, if we remember, is that the Lopez group dominates Meralco’s board and hides information from him, thus from government, and thus from the public. If true, this appears to be a legitimate grievance, unless one thinks that some can always keep other members of same body and entity in the dark, and think that it is good.

Puzzling however is that, incidentally, everything came at a time when Meralco is about to hold an election – regular election of the members of its Board of Directors. And Mr. Garcia seems to be campaigning for re-election in there as well as aiming for the votes of independent share-holders and proxy votes for himself and his sides. Fighting for dominance and control is natural and normal in politics. The puzzle is: why is Mr. Garcia saying that Meralco’s profit should be or could be reduced when he ought to be saying that he is the guy who will bring more profits for the Power firm. After all it happens to be an election of share-holders of the firm about two thirds of which is private ownership.

The issues appear to be directed at the general public

Like Power loss adjustment/System Loss Charge. Why are we customers made to pay for power that my next door neighbor has been stealing from Meralco? And there are four families living in this neighbor’s compound. And the bitter sad part of it is that while paying-customers limit themselves to electric fans, thieves have two aircons that people hear running day and night. And people have grown tired of reporting power theft because of Meralco’s in-actions.

Go to 021 Rosal Street, Payatas, you’ll see one such illegal connection in there. It’s been going around 7 years. It’s been ‘cleaned’ about trice within that period by ningas cogon “saturation drive” but they’re back as soon as Meralco has turned its back. In short, why are people made to pay for loses accrued by Meralco because of its neglect? And these illegal power connections cause additional expenses like replacements of blown cables and/or burnt (expensive) transformers due to overload, plus cost of labor in repairing them, all that being passed on to paying consumers!

I, for one, think that Mr. Garcia is talking sense. What he’s saying is in fact what the general public has been complaining ever since. But we all don’t vote in Meralco.

Meanwhile, observers are wondering if:

Is not it possible that Mr. Winston Garcia is simply like doing some tree shaking? Shaking a tree makes its resident ‘evils’ migrate somewhere else. In this case, share owners may want to unload shares. And it will then make it possible for others to buy in, into one of the world’s fattest corporations.

Or, I have kept this to myself until this evening, but I think Mr. Winston Garcia could be aiming for a post in national election this 2010. C/S Channel 9 early this evening confirmed him as one probable Senatorial candidate by the ruling party in the coming National election. Whichever, doesn’t it seem to fit?

Everyone is already campaigning for 2010, actually. Senator Manny Villar about paying for the repatriation of 7 OFWs, Senator Loren Legarda about some social concerns, VP Noli de Castro about pabahay or low cost state housing, there is Mr Palengke, and others doing TV commercials that I wont be surprised if some of them pay instead of being paid to do commercials – all them aired morning till night, daily. Election Campaign Period limitation – why do we Filipinos make burloloy kind of provisions in our laws? This law is toothless if not impractical as demonstrated by almost everyone there now.

TV ad costs a lot. Maybe political campaign period should not be limited. It will be good for the TV industry, too. Sooner or later, masses will come to realize that earliest birds in politics actually are likely to have more worms in some sense. They are likely more selfish and power greedy!

Meanwhile where do we Filipinos go by the high costs of fuel and electricity and spiraling high prices of everything? May maasahan pa ba ang bayan ni Juan after all the smoke of the controversy started by Mr Garcia has cleared? What happened to the rice crisis issue by the way? We now have P 40.00 going P50.00/kg rice out there because people don’t know if we still have the NFA alive out there. There seems no more NFA. And people are beginning to tire out of complaining and that could be a bad sign – when people stopped talking and yelling.

Lower electricity rates? Since when?

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29 Responses

  1. 7 multiplied by 7,000 times that’s 49 thousand OFWs repatriated from one’s pocket or pork barrel? That’s a wow!  🙂

    For the Admin candidates, Malacanang’s been giving P500.00 to some destitute poor, one time or for life? One thing with people if you give one you might as well give to all or don’t give at all. Like, when you give one tambay a stick of cig you might as well give each a stick or you’ll have mean faces staring at you. They have 60% of 80 million Filipinos angry at them out there now! 40% are happy about it? That’s their money GMA is throwing away like water! 😉

    Judy Ann Santos explaining Power loss adjustment like melted ice or ice cream if you’ve seen the ads of Meralco in TV. Juday running for Senator in 2010 too?  😛

    The Lopezes appear to be geared for full political power and control. There’s kabayan Noli and Senator Loren from ABS-CBN sister company of Meralco already in place. Cesar Montano is probably being propped up for a re-try this 2010.

    Political power begets Economic power, vice versa. That’s social law and science. FM clipped some of those power first things he did when he won the presidency. Jose Pidal could have been provoked into thinking the same? Good God, please do it for the people! 😛

  2. Why is he shaking up MERALCO? So the Lopez group unloaded to be taken over by others. But since the Lopez group didn’t budge, Mr Garcia is selling GSIS shares na lang like he owns the institution. San Miguel Corporation is interested in buying the people’s share.

    What about the people who are supposed to be representing the people in there? They are more interested in ousting Mr Winston Garcia to take his place – politics. They have no real interest in issues – what is right or what is wrong.

    And his contribution to the Filipino People? People don’t know good until they saw bad. They do not see right until they saw wrong. People like Mr Winston Garcia is teaching the country more than the country has learned from anybody else! There’s no better teacher in tyranny than a (modified live) tyrant himself 🙂

  3. “There’s no better teacher in tyranny than a (modified live) tyrant himself ”

    I think this applies to people who don’t learn by history and who want to learn the hard way.

  4. after all is said and done, meralco is now majority owned by the pangilinan group, with san mguel not far behind. and winston is still stealing from the gsis – proof is the computer “breakdowns” and the mysterious deductions that reduce a pension from 5,000 to 500 peysos. and enrile’s 2 new bills aimed at reducing power prices did not mention meralco.

    so why do people hardly believe winston and his ilk? because they have no credibility. credibility is something this benighted administration is sorely lacking

  5. I’m not a member of GSIS. But I cant quite comprehend how an administrator has become so unpopular to the owner – which is the GSIS members. Sure it’s matter of politics with pros and cons but apparently it is Malacanang that gets all the brunt of consequences having Mr Garcia as gsis chief, good or bad, in the end.

    And everybody has seen them in the trust and popularity ratings.

  6. Well bottom line is this. I am an American citizen and we are even hearing about the cost of you electric bills hear in the USA. Your great meralco is ROBBING you blind. Thats a evil nasty company I hope you people can make your own electric comapnay and get rid of meralco for good. Your bills are way higher than our bills per kilowatt hour and we are one of the richest countries in the world. You are a third world country.

    HELLO time to wake up people and make a real stand against this dirty company meralco. Dont let them take advantage of you anymore. People dont let them bully you or they will do it always.

    They are sucking you dry in everyway they can and they will not lower the bill till alot of there customers cant pay there bill at all. They want you to take out loans to pay your bill to them they want you to borrow it get it anyway you can till you just cant get anymore oh and then they will lower it when you are SUCKED DRY.

  7. The Lopez group passed their Meralco holdings to the Pangilinan group so we are told. Energy business is a monopolistic business that ought to be directly in State hand, but was privatized by the Ramos administration.

    Questions there is how effective is Energy Regulatory commission in controlling the business, in protecting public interest. Who does ERC / ERB work for…

  8. Yeah man you guys are being raped by meralco there is no question about that. If I were a Philipino in that country I would get many people together and rally against that theiving low down filthy terranosaurous meralco group because they are bending the people right over and forcing you to take it and nobody is straightening those filthy pigs out. I wish the US would force those bastard to do the right thing because you know we could but I dont think there has been enough reason because like I said you the people are just taking it up the you know what and not making a stand against this nasty tyrant. Like I said though alot of your countries leaders are useless to that country they are like old high school classmates and they dont give a damn about the people they want theres and thats all that matters to them.

  9. I wish the USA IS in charge of that country you guys would be much more free again and have all kinds of deals on stuff like electric but without that you guys are what they call easy to take advantage of and the BAD people with power look for that. They are predators seeking anyone they can use and take advantage of and they are running wild in the Phils these days.

  10. Anyway I hope Meralco gets shut down for good and some decent business people with brains open up electrical services for the Phils. God Bless you guys and down with Meralco please.

  11. “Privatization” in the energy and power sectors was a big mistake for Filipinos.

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  19. Hi Dennis. I see you are new. So, how should yours be? Another window to science and green maybe? Your plant-need-LED lighting story seems interesting. Really.

    I had fantasized confined agriculture, once. Yes, agriculture in super multi storey silos, half burried underground and half goes sky high. To feed an over populated world. Drought, typhoon and pest free. They will need artificial and conducted sun lighting 24 hrs a day. Optical cables system employed. Maybe we can add this LED lights for what are grown there, haha. Add underground cities conceived by one Japanese architect.

    Imagine most intensified agriculture squeezed into tiny surface of the earth. Then most of Earth’s ground surface would then be reverted to tropical forest!

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