09 Nov 2010
This refers to Mr. Herman Tiu Laurel's Diehard III column titled "After Meralco, it's WESM's turn" that was published in your newspaper on 08 November 2010.
There is no basis for Mr. Laurel's claim that the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation maintains a tacit modus operandi" with the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market "to alternately petition for, approve, and implement power rate hikes."
PSALM is not involved, and has never been involved, in any scheme to cause an increase in power rates. All of PSALM's filings, either for an increase or a decrease in rates, recovery or refund, are supported by facts and evidence that are all submitted to the Energy Regulatory Commission and, in several cases, to different committees of the House and Senate.
It is, thus, unfortunate that Mr. Laurel's column provides the public with misleading statements. A case in point is the claim that because of "torrential rains," authorities were "compelled to release overflowing water from hydroelectric dams such as Angat, raising public expectations for a further reduction of November power rates, given this bountiful hydropower source."
A check with Angat Dam management revealed that water has not overflowed. The current level at Angat Dam, even after the "torrential rains," is 197 meters above sea level (masl), which is still below the 202 masl level of the outlet gates.
We hope you will allow us this opportunity to make these clarifications to ensure fairness and accuracy, even as we remain followers of Mr. Laurel's usually balanced commentaries.
Corporate Communications Division