Mikey Arroyo’s Renewable Energy Bill Slammed
It will lead to higher electricity rates and private monopoly of energy resources, says group
Today the 14th Congress is expected to pass the Renewable Energy Bill named PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION AND COMMERCIALIZATION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. The bill was unanimously approved and recommended yesterday by 43 congressmen headed by Committee on Energy Chairman Representative Mikey Arroyo and his brother Rep. Datu Arroyo.
“We are for the development and use of our renewable and clean energy resources. This will make the country energy independent and will lessen the use of dirty fossil fuels such as coal and oil. But the bill being put forward by the Arroyo family will definitely lead to higher electricity rates. It will unquestionably be an additional economic burden particularly to the poor Filipino families,” says Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of the militant environmental group Kalikasan-People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE).
Chapter III, Section 6 of the bill stipulates that investors that will go to renewable energy production are guaranteed higher electricity rates than the current power rates for the next ten years. It is also provided that the differential rate will be passed on to end power users or consumers.
“We are calling to all patriotic legislators to oppose this bill because it will further put our natural resources under the control of private big businesses and foreign corporations. It technically allows foreign and private companies to monopolize and rake superprofits from our national patrimony,” Mr. Bautista explains.
“Chapter V Section 11 of the bill states that the ‘The government share on renewable energy (RE) development projects shall be equal to at least one and one-half percent (1.5%) of the gross proceeds for all RE resources except for indigenous geothermal energy, which shall be two percent (2%) of the gross proceeds’. This is 50% lower than the share that the government now is getting from current energy producers.”
To entice the entry of new investments in the renewable energy sector, the bill is giving several economic incentives to the investors. Some of which are six year income tax holiday extendable for another 6 years, duty free importation of needed materials and technologies, lower realty property tax, and exemption from Value Added Tax (VAT).
“Like what her mother President Gloria Arroyo did in mining, Rep. Mikey Arroyo knows that the only way to generate money is to sell out our natural resources and patrimony to private and foreign corporations. This will be another basis for environmental activists to call for the ouster of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her family in Malacanang,” Mr. Bautista points out. ###