A lawmaker has filed a measure seeking to grant rural electric cooperative associations the right of first refusal to purchase state-owned power generation plants, a press release from Congress said.
Rep. Salvador Cabaluna III (Party-list, 1-CARE) said House Bill 5036 will equip rural electric cooperatives with the needed power to operate generation plants.
"By allowing them to run power generation plants, rural energy consumers are being empowered to control the price of electricity," Cabaluna said.
The bill seeks to amend Section 28 of Republic Act 9136 otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, the press release said.
Cabaluna said with the enactment of RA 9136, all state-owned power generation plants are privatized in order to allow the entry of a deregulated market in the energy sector.
"However, despite the good intent of the law, the unfolding of recent events have shown that instead of serving the common good, the detriment of the public is being threatened by the impending power rate increases resulting from the covert maneuverings of a few in the power sector," Cabaluna said.
He said rural cooperatives are defenseless in the midst of this orchestrated move to create an oligopoly in the energy sector and without any armor to shield it from the economic abuse of the players in power generation, the rights of the rural energy consumers will be compromised.*