Inquirer.net – Let foreign energy firms in – Marcos
Easing up on foreign ownership restrictions would reduce power costs in the country, which are among the highest in Asia.
In a statement, vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said amending the constitutional provisions limiting foreign ownership of companies, particularly renewable energy firms, would help cut electricity rates.
Saying the country’s energy policy was “in disarray,” Marcos pointed out that current generation capability could hardly keep up with demand, causing some areas to experience rotating brownouts.
“If we can drive power costs down, mothers can put more food on the table for their families,” he said.
Marcos issued the statement after the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) announced that consumers could expect an increase of 42 centavos per kilowatt hour in their electricity bills this month and another round of price hikes in the summer months.
Marcos proposed that the constitutional restriction limiting to 40 percent foreign ownership of local companies be lifted for renewable energy firms.
“We have a lot of areas with the potential for development of renewable energy sources but these require considerable investment. Many foreign firms are interested but not too keen on coming in unless we ease the 40-60 rule,” he said.
He said it was imperative upon the new administration to come up with a clear and fair policy on energy, particularly with respect to renewable energy development.
“If we can do that we would not only have reliable and cheaper electricity but we would be protecting our environment as well,” Marcos said.