Lower House restores CHR’s budget with a condition

admin   •   September 21, 2017   •   3670

Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

MANILA, Philippines —The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) should also investigate the crimes committed by drug addicts, such as rape, murder, and other heinous crimes.

This was the condition the Lower House laid down for CHR to comply after the Lower House agreed to restore the agency’s budget.

Once approved, CHR will receive 508 million pesos for next year, with a slight cut from the original 623 million pesos.

According to House Committee on Appropriations chairman Cong. Karlo Nograles, CHR chairperson Gascon personally has agreed with the said condition.

“He also committed na itong investigation na gagawin ng human rights will not only be limited to state actors military, police but we will also include victims of those crimes committed by drug addicts,” said Nograles.

Nograles added that they intentionally reduced the budget of the CHR to see if the agency will adhere to the agreement.

“We are challenging the CHR to step it up to show us that they are worthy of the support of Congress and let’s talk about raising your budget in 2019 after we see the results,” said the chairman.

The House also restored the original budget of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Meanwhile, Nograles said they were able to complete the P40-billion  budget to fund the free higher education program.

Nograles explained the said amount was a consolidation of the slashed amount from various agencies including the slight cut from CHR’s original budget proposal. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

Drilon: No member of the Senate slashed the budget of the SEA Games

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 28, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has denied the allegation that the Senate slashed the budget for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

This was in response to the claims of Kabayan Partylist Rep. Ron Salo that it was Drilon who slashed the budget for the SEA Games.

“The journal of the Senate dated December 6, 2018 would clearly reveal that no member of the Senate slashed the budget of the SEA Games,” Drilon said in a statement.

“It was the bicam, which members of the House of Representatives were part of, that slashed this to P5 billion. For the record, it was not I who proposed to slash it to P5 billion during the bicam,” he added.

READ: Solon blames 2019 budget delay for SEA Games mishaps

The current budget for the SEA Games reached P6 billion, the additional P1 billion came from the contingency fund.—AAC (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Think tank warns of power shortage, rate increases in the coming months

Marje Pelayo   •   November 27, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Power rates are seen to shoot up in the coming months along with a series of power interruptions, according to the group Infrawatch PH.

It’s because the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has not approved all six new power supply agreements which Meralco is eyeing to source its supply from.

According to former congressman now Infrawatch PH Convenor Terry Riddon, ERC should have decided on the agreement as early as November 22.

But until now, the agreements have not yet been finalized even as Meralco’s power supply agreement (PSA) are set to expire on December 26.

This would likely result in power shortage and power rate increase in the coming months, according to Riddon.

“Natatakot po tayo na pagka nag-lapse po yung mga kontrata ng ilan pong tinatawag na PSAs ay kukuha po tayo ng kuryente sa spot market (It worries us that once the PSAs expire, we will need to source our electricity from the spot market),” he explained.

“Siyempre alam naman po natin kapag hindi contracted price may tendency na sumipa yung presyo ng kuryente (And as we all know, contracted price could result in power rate hikes),” he added.

But ERC denied stalling the new PSA as they received the applications only in October 22 this year.

Under the law, ERC has at least 75 days to issue a provisional authority on such type of agreements.

“Hindi ko alam kung saan nanggaling yung notion na nagkakaroon ng delay, (I don’t know from where that notion of a delay came from),” defended ERC Spokesperson Florinda Digal.

“Kapag file ng application sine-set namin for hearing, so may aksyon na kami. I think hindi lang naipaliwanag sa kanila na may proseso kasi bawat application na pina-file dito sa amin and gumagalaw yung application in accordance with the procedure,” she explained further.

(Once the application is filed, we set the hearing right away, so there’s action. I think, it was not explained to them properly that there is a process to follow and that the application is working in accordance with the procedure.)

The ERC maintained that it will not allow any delays in contracts that could result in shortage of power supply and high electricity prices that would inconvenience consumers.

“This is what we want to assure the public whenever we receive applications tinitignan din namin kung ano yung magiging epekto nito at syempre hindi kami papayag na magkaroon ng deficiency sa supply just because something is pending with us,” Digal said.

(This is what we want to assure the public whenever we receive applications. We look at their effects and of course, we do not allow deficiencies in the supply just because something is pending with us.)

Meanwhile, Meralco vows to cooperate with the government in order to minimize the impact on the consumers.

“We are committed to work with the government in ensuring that we obtain the least cost for consumers,” Meralco’s spokesperson Joe Zaldarriga assured. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

Power rate hike to take effect this month

Maris Federez   •   November 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – After a series of power rate reduction in the past months, the November electric bill will see a spike of 47 centavos per kilowatt-hour.

This means that a household consuming 200-kilowatt hour in a month will have an added P94 charge, while those consuming 300-kWh will have a P141 additional tab on their bill.

Meanwhile, households consuming 400-kWh will have an added P188 and P235 for those with 500-kWh monthly consumption.

Meralco said the power rate hike is due to the increase in the price of electricity in the spot market which is an effect of the series of yellow alert and the malfunctions that happened in several plants in the Luzon grid.

Furthermore, the refund that the Energy Regulatory Commission ordered Meralco to issue to their customer is also already depleting. The refund had been a big help in reducing the power rate in the past months.

“Nung September nandun po yung buhos nung net settlement surplus refund na inutos ng ERC sa Philippine Electricity Market Corporation kaya malaki naging pagbaba sa singil sa kuryente noong Setyembre na umabot sa mahigit 50 centavos per kilowatt hour ngayon since wala na yan or very minimal nalang yung impact nyan ngayong Nobyembre natin naramdaman yan,” Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said.

This news has brought much concern to Meralco customers.

For now, Meralco has yet to determine if the high power rate will continue until next month, although the electric company said there is a possibility that it will go down in December because electric consumption reduces as the country experiences colder temperatures. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

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