Resisting Privatization: Reclaiming Rights to Public Services
FDC shall continue to lead the fight against increasingly aggressive attempts to privatize the provision of essential public utilities and social services such as water and power. But beyond guarding against increasing private sector control of public services, FDC promotes alternatives to private sector ownership and/or control including various forms of public management and control of services such as public-public partnerships; public-non profit partnerships; and outright deprivatization as important components of the broader campaign for a People’s Economy.
FDC calls for the total revision of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) otherwise known as R.A. 9136.Since the bill that became EPIRA was deliberated on the Congress floor, FDC has strongly opposed it. FDC has warned Congress and our people again and again, year after year, that privatization cannot deliver the promises of EPIRA. Now, thirteen (13 years ) after its enactment, EPIRA is one big broken promise.
In sum, FDC has been calling all these years for:
- Breaking the private monopolistic/monopsonistic hold of a few big private corporations on the power generation, transmission and distribution industry brought about by EPIRA ,
- Bringing back State planning in building and developing the power industry,
- Restoring the role of the State as a major player in both generation and distribution sectors and renationalizing the management and operation of the transmission sector,
- Promotion of democratic and efficient electric cooperatives as a social partner of the State in developing the power industry, and
- Ensuring a steady and sure transition to sustainable energy.
Currently FDC is one of the convenors of Power to the People Coalition. A coalition composed of Trade Unions, Party List organization, Political Blocs and organizations, Church based organizations and marginalized groups calling for the repeal of EPIRA and the revocation of Meralco’s franchise.
FDC’s Water Program works to strengthen resistance to water privatization policies. In recent years, plans to institute wide-ranging reforms in the water sector that would open it up to private investors and corporations have gained momentum. These, along with water concessionaires’ attempts to raise water rates and a renewed push to build new dams in various parts of the country pose serious threats to the people’s right to water. FDC partners with other organizations and supports local struggles to promote alternatives based on a framework that views water as a right, a vital resource and an essential part of the commons.
Direct action aimed at pressuring relevant government agencies and policymakers not to adopt the discredited neo-liberal prescription to open up public services to corporate take-over; Research into the growing phenomenon of corporate takeover of existing public water service providers; Capacity-building for member organizations and communities as well as partner networks on analysis and alternatives;