Pilipinas, you need to work

Don’t believe everything you hear

Archive for May 2008

Should the government be allowed to control the power company?

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As the saga continues on our Philippine television sets (until something else happens), should the government be allowed to control our electricity. After having seen how they run this country, would we really want them to?

Let me describe a situation regarding this. Is the country leading to an oligarchy or have we been living it all this time?

Ever since we “declared” our independence, powerful families have controlled our country for generations. Almost everyone who has or is elected or appointed into power is related to a certain degree from another.

Banking institutions, electricity, television, newspapers, telco companies, malls, groceries, basic products and so on. And we let them. Why? To a certain degree, they’re doing a lot better job than the government. But in any system there’s always a bad side. We have monopolies. We don’t see it but it’s there. Why else why there isn’t any Ikea or Target here in the Philippines? Why are our phone companies limited to cities that they are given licenses? The government says that it’s there to protect us. But it’s there to protect those who owns these business. We are unable to compete in the global economy because our country operates in a closed environment.

Wouldn’t it be better for us “little” people to have a very competitive atmosphere? We all act this way because we’re too engrossed in petty arguments that have no real impact to the ordinary person. The sad part is that we eat it all up. Everything that our television, newspapers and radio reports is more enthralling than any soap opera on tv. In any case, I want to be proven wrong. I want to believe that every little thing I do amounts to something good, not only for me but also for others. But if everything would be as strictly controlled as everything as they want it to. Then it’s best to look somewhere else for progress.

Written by pinoypatrol

May 30, 2008 at 10:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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Have we been duped?

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First Gas blames ‘royalty’ taxes for high power costs

Power provider, First Gas Power Corporation testified before congress today and explained that government taxes take as much as 2 pesos per kilowatt hour. Meralco currently charges P4.30 so removing the tax will actually cut power costs by half.

It was also added that fuel costs are also driven by high taxes compared to what is taxed on imported fuel. Thus discouraging anyone to explore locally available alternative fuels.

Regionally, the Philippines has the highest taxes imposed on fuels.

So what does this mean for us? We’ve been duped into a big corporate conspiracy and everyone is in on it.

Think about it? “Campaign donations” given by large corporations to candidates in elections make sure that these laws remain in place. Foreign oil companies make sure that these taxes are in place to further remain in the country. Oh the horror that may happen that the Philippines, a natural geothermal country (all those volcanoes have other common uses other than hot springs) does not use geothermal energy.

Could the government inadvertently have dug up it’s own secret?

That all these years since the Romualdez family took over Meralco from the Lopezes in the 70s during martial law have set in motion events that would keep us tied to imported fuels that only three companies control? (BTW, electricity didn’t cost this much back then, and it’s not due to the exchange rate)

That we have actually been paying taxes that could have been used to develop our own natural fuels?

If our legislative is working, after all of this, they should reduce taxes imposed on local fuels. But will it happen? Prove me wrong. Prove to me that they will revisit these laws and cut the taxes. If they don’t make laws that remedy this, they don’t have any right to be where they are.

In this age of Global warming and calls for reduced consumption of fossil fuels, will our government not make this change? In the end changes to this will allow us to explore cheaper and probably cleaner sources of energy.

Written by pinoypatrol

May 29, 2008 at 11:41 am

Posted in electricity, Gas

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It’s a pain but it’s worth it

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Manila Water service upgrade in QC

Metro Manila is divided into two water service providers with the highway EDSA as the dividing line. Maynilad services the west and Manila Water services the east. The upgrades take a while to put in place but the results are pretty much worth the wait.

During the late 90s and early 2000, water came by on a scheduled basis. In other words, water was rationed. But after a few months of pipe laying/ replacement, water is now available 24 hours a day. I no longer fear waking up that there’s no water. It might not be as potable as in other countries (German tap water is better than bottled water). But at least it’s moving in the right direction.

Written by pinoypatrol

May 28, 2008 at 8:49 am

Power surges

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Meralco ends at year-low as board war rages

I know these are bad puns. But let’s move on.

The Lopez family has retained control of Meralco by holding 5 out of 11 seats on the board with the government holding only 4. The other two are independent members.

Meralco opened 0.50 centavos higher than it’s close of 63 Php the previous day. At 10am trading was suspended by the Philippine Stock Exchange to allow investors time to sort the events from the previous day. Trading resumed at 11 and brought Meralco stocks to it’s lowest in 12 months by almost 5% or by 3 pesos a share. The index closed 22 points down at 2,833.27

Both sides are resorting to the courts for failure to recognize the SEC stoppage of the elections. But if there’s anything constant in Manila is that this could drag out for a while. If the courts get involved, the process could take a year and even then the previous board would still control the company. So does it get anything done?

Will this long process give us lower power rates?

Written by pinoypatrol

May 28, 2008 at 8:42 am

Posted in electricity

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Power struggle

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I know it’s a bad pun. But it fits the current situation between GSIS President Winston Garcia and the Lopez family as the stockholders meet and see who will run the largest power distributor in the Philippines.

In the days leading to Tuesday’s stockholder’s meeting, all media entities, including Lopez owned ABS-CBN was barred from airing the meeting live on ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel). GSIS Winston Garcia was able to get approval from the board to get cameras inside.

Tuesday morning arrives and the Securities and Exchange Comission halts the board election based on a complaint filed by Winston Garcia saying that the proxies votes were selected in an “irregular” manner. A hearing in scheduled on Friday, May 30.

The election of the board pushed through despite the order from the SEC. The stockholders attendees reach 86%

Meralco shares were up 0.937% at the end of trading in Manila.

The GSIS calls the meeting “illegal”. Meralco calls the order from the SEC “null and void” since it bears no number, date, official seal of the SEC and was signed by only one commissioner.

Garcia was heckled by stockholders and employees of Meralco for trying to stop the proceedings. Garcia cries foul that it should not be decided by mob rule. (See where numerous “people power” gets us)

Counting of the votes continue as of this posting.

Well now, who needs television when things like this is going on.

Written by pinoypatrol

May 27, 2008 at 9:54 am

Posted in electricity

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See what happens when you try

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‘No plate, no travel’ drive nabs 50 violators in Camp Crame

Just an update to my previous post. See what happens when you try to do your job. Things actually work. Now they need to clamp down on those scooters. I won’t even call them motorcycles since they’re just scooters who think they’ll live if they get into an accident. They give a bad name to all the other “motorcycle” riders/ owners who know how to follow road rules and courtesy.

Written by pinoypatrol

May 26, 2008 at 6:44 am

Posted in driving, rants

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They should have been doing this in the first place

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TMG revs up ‘no plate, no travel’ drive

This is something that they should have been doing in the first place! Just because there has been a dramatic increase in crime these past few months that they will only begin apprehending vehicles with no license plates or expired stickers. Why only do it now? It’s the law. It’s been there since we had drivers licenses and they only think of implementing it now?

But I want them to get all those fake “8” plates. “8” plates are the vehicle designation of the members of congress. There have been a lot of “fakes” popping up including plates of former members of congress who lost in the last election have not relinquished their plates.

Why should they have numbered plates in the first place? That makes them an easier target for assassins. We tax payers pay for those plates. Pay their salaries and pay the security detail that tell us to f**k off because we’re in their way.

I only give way if it’s an ambulance, fire truck or the president. Other than that they can all kiss my @$$.

Written by pinoypatrol

May 26, 2008 at 3:25 am

Posted in driving, rants

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