Let’s get really simple here: People who have nothing to do with something wrong should not be made to pay for it.
If it is not there, they should be spared from any liability or obligation.
Simple logic dictates so.
Otherwise, an injustice is committed, injuring not only certain parties but society as a whole.
Thus, an independent lawmaker on Thursday asked Congress to put an end to the charging of electricity system losses being charged by private electric companies and lower the cap of recoverable system losses of rural electric cooperatives.
In filing House Bill, (Allowable System Loss Act of 2016), Navotas City Rep. Tobias Tiangco noted that government should “Unburden the general public from shouldering the costs of losses it had nothing to do with.”
“We filed the same bill in the 15th and 16th Congresses but both were never heard even on the committee level. We urge Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, energy committee chairman, to prioritize this bill. It is an injustice to the consumers to make them pay for electricity they did not use,” Tiangco said.
“System loss is due to pilferage and inefficient transmission, both of which should be the responsibility of the electrical distribution company or cooperative. We should not let consumers suffer for the crime or the incompetence of others,” he said.
In HB 942, Tiangco stressed government’s duty to “protect the rights of every electric consumer without compromising the State’s assistance to the viability of every electric distributor’s operations.”
“Electricity is an indispensable commodity in the economic growth. The supply and demand of the populace must be harmoniously reconciled and considered to attain justifiable and equitable imposition of the electric distribution expenses to the consuming public,” he added.
Tiangco said that only rural electric cooperatives should be allowed to impose charges for system losses that are caused by faulty design and technical loss as defined by the Energy Regulatory Commission.
He added that the said charges should not exceed five percent of the total system losses.
The Navoteño lawmaker also pushed for the exemption of the system loss charged by rural electric cooperatives from the 12-percent value-added tax.
“The imposition of system loss in the consumers’ bills, although forming part of a rural cooperative’s operating expenses, shall not be made subject to any value-added tax as provided in Section 108 of Republic Act No. 9337 or any amendments thereto,” he said.
“A systems loss charge shall be determined annually based on the previous year’s costs and revenues of the distribution utilities which shall be verified by the ERC to ensure that only legitimate costs are borne by consumers,” he added.
A similar measure has also been filed at the Senate, authored by former congressman and now Senator Manny Pacquiao.