BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Covering the Power Rate Hike

It's been several weeks of stressful coverage of the power rate hike. (Christmas and New Year included!) And still counting. As the issue drags on, lobbyists, spin doctors and paid hacks are revealing themselves, wittingly or unwittingly. 

It's inevitable given that billions in profits and jobs are on the line. Almost everyone has an agenda, inevitably clouding the truth. What really happened? Why did electricity rates double in December, a very cold month when demand is supposed to be low.

Everyone's denying responsibility. Nobody's at fault. The blame game goes on and on. It's like I'm watching a tele-drama unfolding live by the minute, with all its twists and turns. 

Watching yesterday's Senate hearing for instance, raised more questions than answers. Why, for instance, did Senator Sergio Osmena III open the hearing with an obvious agenda about the Malaya plant? 

Where did he get the computation and why couldn't he show it when asked? Who lobbied for it? Why did he keep pointing at PSALM? And NOT a question on power producers? The committee is supposed to be checking alleged collusion among power sellers, right?

I'd love to know.  Meanwhile, I'm stuck covering this issue. The zarzuela continues.