House leaders call for review of EPIRA to lower electricity costs

Philippines to hold power and electricity week in July

Officials in the House of Representatives are pushing for a thorough review of the Electric Power Industry Regulation Act (EPIRA) to potentially lower the cost of electricity in the Philippines, as the country’s rates are among the highest in Southeast Asia.

In a report by the Inquirer, House leaders had issued a joint statement on Sunday advocating for reforms in the EPIRA, or Republic Act No. 9136, passed in 2001 to aid the power crisis of the 1990s and reduce electricity costs by privatizing generation, transmission, and distribution assets.

The statement was signed by Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Deputy Speaker David Suarez, House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, and other majority lawmakers Inno Dy V, Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez, Raul Angelo Bongalon, Zia Alonto Adiong, Francisco Paolo Ortega V, Jefferson Khonghun, Mikaela Angela Suansing, Joel Chua, Margarita Nograles, and Cheeno Miguel Almario.

However, after 23 years of being a law, EPIRA has been blamed for the country’s energy issues, including high electricity rates and unreliable power supply, as evidenced by the shortages during the peak of El Niño in the first quarter.

Because of this, the lawmakers stressed the urgency of reducing the cost of electricity in the country, which is among the highest in Southeast Asia, and at the same time, achieving energy security.

Possible amendments to the EPIRA have been included among the priority measures identified by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) on June 25.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez said during the LEDAC meeting that the House would try to complete the EPIRA amendments before Congress goes into its Christmas break.

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