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.
IT USED to be that the only reasons LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) gas tanks would be on the streets were because they were either being delivered to homes or were attached to stoves on the carts of vendors of banana cue and kwek-kwek (deep-fried batter-coated quail eggs). Now, however, LPG is powering thousands of taxis plying Metro Manila streets — and no one is the wiser, save for pleased taxi drivers and operators who say their fuel expenses have gone down by at least half.