IT WAS hailed as a groundbreaking law that would not only result in lower power rates for both household and industrial consumers, but would also unburden the government of some P38 billion in annual subsidies to the power sector.
At the time, no less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said that had Congress failed to pass the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), it would have meant the continued ballooning of the debts of the National Power Corporation (NPC). That would have deprived the government of much needed funds to meet the Filipinos’ other basic needs, which the chief executive even itemized in terms of 16,000 classrooms, 127,000 hectares of irrigated land, 76,000 low-cost houses, or 6,300 kilometers of road.
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