The Philippines is home to what has now been reported as having the highest energy rates anywhere in Asia. And it looks like they have no plans of reversing this phenomenon any time soon. This is, in large, due to the fact that, like most of the other public services, all power became privatized during President Corazon Aquino’s tenor.
The logic behind such a stupid maneuver is obvious. First, it became a quick source of capitol for an ailing government. And second. By selling it to friends and family, she would be able to keep the personal revenue flowing, long after she stepped down.
To make matters worse, Cory even made the choice to not activate the BNPP (Bataan Nuclear Power Plant) that had recently been completed. In response to the global oil crisis of the early 1970’s, then President, Ferdinand Marcos made the decision to construct the country’s first Nuclear Generating Station. Construction was completed in 1985, at a cost of $2.3 billion.
Interestingly enough, South Korea completed BNPP’s sister plant at around the same time. And nearly 30 years later. KORI 1 is still operating with an average output of 583 Megawatts. Today, KORI 1 has proven so profitable that it almost completely funded the next three reactors they added. the Philippines was on par with South Korea back in ’86. Looking at them now, can anyone logically explain how their cheaper power did not have the least bit of an effect on how developed they currently are.
To say that the Philippines missed out on billions, maybe even trillions of pesos in revenue and economic advances would be understating the problem. You shot yourselves in the foot by letting one of the best national assets you had at the ready, just go to waste for nearly three decades.
Now, of course those politicos in Manila will always be screaming the dangers and negative effects of Nuclear Power. First things first: eliminate Chernobyl right off the bat because Chernobyl never followed international standards. If you ever had any hopes of opening a plant, the Philippines will need to follow these standards, because the people supporting nuclear power are every bit as paranoid about disasters as those who are against it.
Secondly, BNPP is considered safer than Fukushima. Out of the first generation of nuclear plants, BNPP was among the last in its kind, making it younger than about 70% of the nuclear plants in operation in America today.
And lastly, if you remove Chernobyl from the equation, in the many decades of nuclear power, about 430 of the plants operating in the world today, how many casualties have we experienced from nuclear disasters so far? Zero.
Compare that to 24,000 annual deaths largely attributed to Coal Power plants. And even if you choose to include Chernobyl into the mix, 24,000 a year from coal plants is still a staggering number in contrast.
This all leads us to the question of: “How do things operate in the world of privatized companies supplying electricity to a nation whose demands for power are growing at an alarming rate?” The answer is easy. It is only getting worse!
Why? Because when you privatize any kind of public services, such as water and power. They no longer fall under government regulation, control and/or guidelines. And the government itself, no longer wants to waste the time or money keeping an eye on them. Thus, the following happens:
- Lower quality or sub-standard equipment at the respective plants.
- Higher rates slapped on customers to support the operating and maintenance costs.
- Sub-par customer service and support.
The above short list does speak volumes of headaches for the customers at a personal level. In many cases, the power companies have actually told their customers to invest in a Generator. That sort of response is proof-positive, these companies, like the current administration, have no plans of changing things for the betterment of the people. Again you ask, why? because you save money. And their profit margins take a big dip.