MANILA, Oct. 10, 2011— The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) has backed a 30-minute blackout to protest high power rates.
Carmelite Fr. Marlon Lacal, AMRSP co-executive secretary, faced the media on Saturday to express their support of tomorrow’s “Power-Off,” where people are urged to switch off lights for 7:30 to 8:00 o’clock in the evening.
The priest also called the Aquino administration to undertake measures to remove from their “painful shoulders” the burden of high power rates.
“It is unjust and immoral to pass onto the poor people the continuously increasing electricity rates since they were never responsible in incurring the debts of the National Power Corporation. The ones who continue to cause these hardships and difficulties are the monopolist capitalists,” said Lacal during a press conference organized by the Freedom from Debt Coalition.
“The Church cannot understand why these high power rates are being passed onto the people since the wages of the workers remain as low as before; likewise their benefits remain inadequate,” he added.
On the other hand, running priest Fr. Robert Reyes proposed the idea of a “Green Sabbath”.
“I am proposing that we have one Saturday in a month to shut-off our lights and electricity, nobody will drive which consumes fuel or gas, we will stop going to the malls to buy and consume here,” Reyes said.
“This is to show the dismay of the people and in some way cause the loss of earnings to the five giant businessmen who cause hardships to the people because they are reasons why the cost of electricity is so high— Aboitiz, Lopez, Cojuangco, Pangilinan and Sy. They are very greedy and all they want to do is to eat us all up in order to make 100% profits,” he lamented.
The Church sector supports the calls to stop the anticipated power rate increase, to bring down these rates, to stop the privatization of the remaining contracts and plants owned by Napocor.
They also appealed for the abolition of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) because of its “failure” to bring down the price of electricity. [CBCPNews]