16 August 2005

Federalism and the electric power industry

OVER the past two weeks, on top of time spent on 13 school visitations (as of yesterday, out of 36 consultations scheduled for the rest of August), I put some hours reconstructing my 10-year old masteral thesis at the Bicol University Graduate School.

Its rather imposing title: "The NPC and REC Pricing Policies as they relate to Regional Development efforts in Bicol: A Policy Evaluation."

This was impelled by a gentle reminder that turned into a stiff deadline from the regional office of the Civil Service Commission. Under my contract as a pioneering grantee of the Local Scholarship Program of the CSC, I was supposed to submit certified copies of my diploma, transcript of records and two copies of my thesis. Which I never did, in all those 10 years that went by after I graduated in 1995.

(I went home to Sagrada, Pili, Camarines Sur right after receiving my diploma during the graduation ceremony at the Bicol University sometime in March 1995. I only realized that diploma was worthless without the university seal in 2002 when I was applying for admission as a fellow-elect under the International Fellowship Program.)

The LSP program came into being in 1993 when Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas was then CSC chair. The late Sen. Blas F. Ople put his weight and funding behind the LSP. As of June 2002, it has benefited 11,444 public sector employees, 8,870 of which finished their course.

Yesterday, I finished the task of reproducing two copies of my thesis, which tried to evaluate the pricing policies of the National Power Corporation and the Bicol rural electric cooperatives (RECs).

Then as now, advocacy for a better deal from the national government in regard to utilization of natural resources in the regions is an unending saga. This is fueled by the inequitous situation of higher power rates for residential, commercial and industrial end-users in regions such as Bicol and Samar-Leyte that provide baseline supply to the Luzon Grid through geothermal power plants they host.

Can the promise of federalism correct this inequity? Lost in the din of the ongoing debate is this question, a gut issue for locals like myself and the Bikolano people of which I am one. While still lying below their radar screen, I hope our academics and pundits will soon weigh in on this issue.

Meanwhile, the following links will enable you to access what I had been laboring on for the last two weeks. Enjoy!


fat burners said...

Interesting opinion, indeed.
-Fat Burners-