The power crisis in Mindanao is a ploy to monopolize the power industry and make the people suffer in the name of superprofit

Ka Oris
02 April 2012

The NDFP-Mindanao views the "blackouts"/4- to 8-hour power outages in Mindanao, which has created an atmosphere of misery, discontent and anger among the people, as nothing more than a grand machination imposed by foreign monopoly capitalists (IMF-World Bank) in collusion with the big comprador bourgeoisie led by the country's wealthiest man -- profit-hungry Henry Sy, and implemented by the US-Aquino regime to extract profit at the expense of the people.

The US-Aquino regime and its propaganda spin-doctors are relentlessly peddling the lie that Mindanao is dangerously short on power supply. Contrary to this claim, Mindanao has enough power supply to cater to the basic requirement of its entire populace. The current power shortage, in truth, lies in the fact that power in the island is being produced mainly to cater to the gargantuan power requirement and the greed for superprofit of imperialist industries, such as the Tag-anito mines, SMI-Xstrata, Toronto Ventures Inc., Nestle Phils., Phil. Sinter Corp.-Kawasaki plant, Dole and Del Monte plantations and canneries, and Holcim Cement -- all of which are pollutants and environmentally-destructive.

This rehashed "power crisis" has been contrived for the big bourgeois comprador Henry Sy, by way of his National Grid Corp of the Philippines (NGCP), to possess full and unhampered control of the power industry, which is guaranteed in full by its wholesale privatization since the US-Ramos regime. The NGCP will undoubtedly possess the leverage to eventually ease-out independent power producers (IPPs), such as the Aboitiz and the Alcantara-Dominguez groups. This scheme will end up with Henry Sy monopolizing not only power generation and distribution but also the retail end of the power industry as well, which may redound to Sy's eventual control of local electric cooperatives. Totally free from state regulation, Sy can impose electricity rate increases at a whim, to the very detriment of the people of Mindanao and of the rest of the country.

The monopolization of the power industry will usher the people in Mindanao further onto dire misery, as electricity rates will definitely skyrocket, on top of EVAT, incessant increases in the prices of oil, basic commodities, education, health and other basic social services.

Worse, in answer to the so-called "power crisis," the Aquino government aims to build, at the very least, two coal-fired power plants, in addition to the ones which are already in existence and are privately owned, as those in Sarangani and Misamis Oriental. This runs incongruent with the need of Mindanao for a pro-people, pro-environment power industry because, apart from being highly exploitative and oppressive, these technologically-antiquated coal-fired power plants, which are already being phased-out in the US and Europe, will not only contribute heavily to environmental devastation but will pose a serious threat to people's health due to toxic emissions that will contaminate water, air and food sources. The last thing Mindanao needs now is another dirty industry that will induce a Sendong-like disaster, and kill thousands more!

In view of this, the NDFP-Mindanao calls on the people to expose and oppose this contrived power crisis in Mindanao. At par with the intensity of protests launched against large-scale destructive mining, logging and agri-business plantations, it is also imperative for the people to wage militant protests against this latest ploy of the US-Aquino regime.

Moreover, we would also like to emphasize the development, tapping and sustained use of renewable and safe energy sources, such as hydro, wind, and solar power, which, under the auspices of the people's democratic government, will make headway towards attaining genuine national industrialization.#