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No to Oligarchical Control Water & Electricity are Means to Life

By : Orlan Ravanera Mindanao Today/12:18:52pm 04/14/2021


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No to Oligarchical Control Water & Electricity are Means to Life

              President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA)is so amazing when he mentioned that enough is enough of the oligarchs’ control of water and electricity. Indeed, just like food and air, water and electricity are means to life and these should not be put under the control of the oligarchs for profit motive and massive rakings.

       How much is an oligarch’s corporation earning by controlling the distribution of water in Metro Manila? Well, as mentioned in the SONA – billions of pesos!
       
       Former Secretary Jericho Petilla of the Department of Energy told me before that the monthly salary of a senior official of MERALCO is Six Million Pesos. If that be the case, you can just imagine the gargantuan rakings of MERALCO per month. When he was questioning the improprieties of what that multi-billion Corporation is doing against consumers of electricity, well-known legislators (apparently the Corporation’s allies) told him to report to Congress for some questioning. Thus, he opted to resign.

       This time, enough is enough! We have a leader who is very courageous to question these oligarchs because of his love for his people to liberate them from poverty from the stranglehold of a few oppressive oligarchs. Don’t you know that when former President Estrada did that, he was ousted?

       The acts of some legislators supporting the oligarchs and even have the guts to attack the President should stop. Indeed, when economic dictatorship of the oligarchs is grafted unto representative electoral democracy, a toxic growth of religious fundamentalism and right wing extremism is the result. Thus, oligarchical control leads not just to the death of democracy, but to the democracy of death.

       Who profits? Who decides? Who benefits? Don’t you know that in 2012, only 50 oligarchical families pocketed 70% of the country’s gross domestic products (GDPs)? That only 200 families control the Philippine economy? That includes the control of electricity.

       Perhaps it is about time that the 13 million member-consumer-owners (MCOs) must report to our beloved President on the Position Paper that they have crafted on the so-called Electric Cooperatives (ECs), as they declared:

       “We have witnessed hunger and poverty in a country oozing with ecological wealth. We are well aware that the cause of economic deprivation is rooted in the powerlessness of the people to have access and control over their resources and over their utilities which are under the strangled hold of the oligarchs.

       Even the millions of the MCOs of electricity are being deprived to exercise their rights as owners because those running the affairs of the so called electric cooperatives, who through all these years have formed powerful cabal of vested interest, are stubbornly insisting that these ECs are cooperatives despite the fact that they do not adhere to time honored and universally-accepted cooperative principles and practices and notwithstanding the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled resoundingly on their being cooperatives in name only.

       However, instead of registering with the CDA, what these ECs did was to unleash formidable arsenal of lies, deceit, fear mongering and cash-back lobbying to ensure the continued proliferation and hold of private interest over electric cooperatives. Lies and deceits were employed to cast doubts on the economic viability of electric cooperatives if they would be registered with CDA.”

       Don’t you know that all the 13 million MCOs have already paid capital shares to their respective ECs of more than fifty thousand pesos each that when consolidated will reach more than one trillion pesos. These capital shares are actually included in their monthly billings in the past sixty years on two items: amortization of loans and reinvestment. All these years, such truism has been hidden from the members.

       Why are these not recognized? Because the oligarchical firms want to buy these ECs and many cooperative leaders who have been opposing have already been murdered. I can cite several painful stories, one of these was the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO) where about nine have already been killed during those painful years of the struggle to really become a genuine cooperative.

       Mr. President, the 13 million MCOs with a critical mass of some 60 million Filipinos are appealing to you, our beloved President, to correct this social wrong and gross social injustice. All the more than 11 million cooperative members throughout the land are with you. YES, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. NEVER SHALL WE ALLOW THE OLIGARCHS T0 CONTINUE THEIR MASSIVE RAKINGS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE POOR AND THE OPPRESSED!

       For those who have dreamt, struggled, sacrificed and even died for its, social change has been so elusive all these years despite 14 years of martial law and two-people powered revolutions. The systems and structures breeding poverty are still as formidable as ever. BUT NOT ANYMORE UNDER THE PRESENT DISPENSATION UNDER PRESIDENT MAYOR RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE. SOCIAL TRANSORMATION HAS COME TO UNFETTER THE PEOPLE FROM THE OPPRESSIVE PROFIT MOTIVE OF THE OLIGARCHS AND CARTEL!

       Let notice be served to one and all that the only countervailing force against social injustice which is legal and peaceful is COOPERATIVISM! This is well stated in the 1987 Constitution, Chapter 15, Article 12: “To promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments of social justice, equity and economic development.”


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