Consumer group warns price increase in P184.89B LNG deal


The United Filipino Consumers and Commuters’ (UFCC) says the deal between the country’s three biggest energy players, costing Php 184.89 billion, could compromise consumer well-being if the liquefied natural gas (LNG) is continuously monopolized.

In a report by the Inquirer, the consumer group’s statement was made after MERALCO PowerGen Corporation (MGen), Aboitiz Power Corporation, and San Miguel Global Power Holdings Corporation (SMGP) entered into this agreement, launching the country’s first and most extensive LNG facility.

UFCC President Rodolfo Javellana Jr. stressed that this agreement showed that these firms are focused on “maximizing profits” as well as cementing their control of the LNG industry.

Javellana Jr. added that due to this agreement, eight million consumers would suffer the impact of rate increases as they are dependent on the services of these companies.

Furthermore, Javellana called on the government’s disregard for the need to safeguard consumers, saying that these government agencies should be at the forefront of defending consumers against price increases. 

The consumer group’s president also said that the increasing electricity prices could slow down the economic goals of the government, particularly in attracting foreign investors, as the power costs in the Philippines are one of the most expensive.

Javellana also said that Congress should look into amending the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) law, which was the main source of the increase in power costs.