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Time to democratize power industry

Being crucial and strategic to the national economy, the power industry has to be democratized, away from the clutches of the profit-hungry oligarchs and other vested interests.

Amending the over decade-old Epira law could be a logical first step, no matter the hindrances it may encounter along the way.

As some jaded lawmakers imply, the law – supposed to bring down power rates – has miserably failed in fostering a competitive environment.

While there’s no such thing as perfect law, the Epira’s implementation has only exposed its flaws as evidenced by the endless rounds of unwarranted rate increases.

On hindsight, there are also perceptions of manipulation by the power players themselves of the rates to jack up their profits at the expense of hapless consumers.

Worse, the new tariff rates come at a time of widespread public anxiety over threats of prolonged power outages.

Nationalizing or de-privatizing power companies may have spawned debates, particularly as it would raise legal or constitutional grounds.

But for those in favor, their overriding consideration is restoring to the consumers their inherent right to help chart the industry’s destiny within the realm of economic freedom.

Those opposed to any form of state control of the power industry fear that it would set back or derail the privatization of inefficient and losing government-owned and controlled corporations.

More than that, however, is the creeping apprehension in the corporate community that such move  would drive away potential investors from the ailing industry.

While there ‘s a deluge of pros and cons about the need to restore government control of the power industry,the long-term implication is instability in the power sector.

As some analysts say, you can’t just change horse midstream or risk getting drowned in the process.


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