IN a country where the economy runs on imported fuel, price increases in a merciless global market are a nightmare. This brings us to challenge our heavy reliance on imported oil to fuel our power generators.
The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is currently crossing the tight rope — on whether it will support some of its power suppliers' call to temporarily relieve them of their obligations to the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) or not. At a glance, the basis for oil price adjustment maybe sound. Oil prices in the world market is skyrocketing at an unprecedented phase due to the war in Ukraine.
However, Meralco is also under obligation to protect the interest of its subscribers from sudden price adjustments, with the PSA's fixed-price clause. Suppliers are duty bound to adhere, signature affixed.
Through the fix-pricing clause, the PSA empowers the consumers by lessening their worries on electricity bills even if the prices of fuel suddenly go up in the global market. Commitments now tested with global oil prices dancing in higher grounds.
Just a thought, why doesn't Meralco contract more renewable energy suppliers such as large solar farms since these are not dependent on imported oil or coal and global commodity price fluctuations? First Gen and AC Energy Corporation (ACEN) are industry leaders in renewable energy.
delivered to your inbox
Interestingly, Lopezes' First Gen, together with Ayala's ACEN, is among the patriotic corporations that people can rely on in this time when Filipinos are barely able to stand from the impact of the restrictions to economic activities brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Patriotic in a sense that it looks like they have taken the bold steps of sacrificing part of their profits to cover the excess cost of generating electricity caused by the successive oil price hikes. Such sacrifice rules out the need to pass the burden to Meralco's subscribers.
Of all the PSA contractors of Meralco, First Gen and ACEN are the companies that are showing goodwill and willing sincerity in aiding Meralco's predicament to shield its clients from the brunt of fuel price increase waves. No indications yet from these two of woes relative to their PSA responsibilities.
We keep on hoping these two stays that way. Doing good business doesn't need to end up bleeding customers to death. This nation has bled enough, and is even barely surviving from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
First Gen and ACEN who, in my appreciation, know how to balance their profit objectives with the greater good of the Filipinos. We should give them credit for their outstanding corporate patriotism that they chose to continually stand with their commitment to the PSA.
These two are the good guys. Corporate patriotism at work.