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.
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?