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NAPOCOR was re-privatized in the late 1980s and it was transferred to its former

owner, The Manila Electric Company or, Metro Regional Anggat Lightning Cooperative
also known as Meralco (Paterno, At the Threshold of Fresh Synergies: Meralco in
2010). The MWSSwas also privatized in 1997 and, became Maynilad Water Services,
Inc. and Manila Water Company, Inc. or Maynilad (Chia, Water Privatization in Manila,
Philippines. Should Water be Privatized?).

A Filipino basic need like water and electricity should be managed by the government
because the role of the government is to serve the very interest of its people, and the
peoples primary interest is to suffice their basic needs.

The Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL), the dominant air carrier in the Philippines which
operates both locally and internationally was privatized in 1992 (Encyclopdia
Britannica, Philippine Airlines, Inc.), and PLDT, the only telecommunications industry in
the Philippines since telecommunications have emerged, was privatized in 1995, and
along with its privatization was the implementation of the Public Telecommunications
Policy Act of 1995 (RA 7925) to allow free market in the telecommunications (Bree,
Information Technology in the Philippines).

Transportation like air transportation, and communications like telephone and cellular
communication should also be managed by the government. Air transportation is risky
for it is prone to mass destructions. The government should ensure and protect its
people whenever they are prone to disasters. Telephone and cellular communications
should be handled by the government for it could be a way to do crimes like kidnap for
ransom and money extortion. Unlike what the private owners of telecommunications
who are very loose in selling a subscriber identity module card or sim card, the
government has all means to regulate the ownership of a phone number. Government
should not just entrust the peoples safety to private sectors whose primary aim is to
earn money.

Despite of these things, privatization is not all bad especially during the times
when government was proven ineffective and private sectors come into picture.

There are government-owned and controlled companies which experienced


bankruptcies that had been rescued by private investors. Private investors who won the
bidding of MWSS continued to provide water to the people and agreed to pay the

previous foreign debt of $1 billion (Chia, Water Privatization in Manila, Philippines.


Should Water be Privatized?). Manila Harbor, the abandoned and neglected major
seaport that links Metro Manila to Visayas and Mindanao is now the North Port
Passenger Terminal Complex, a world-class terminal that could carry three million
passengers a year after being managed by Harbour Center Port Holdings Inc. and San
Miguel Corporation (Palabrica, Privatized Public Services).

Because a private companys aim is to profit, privatization also promises a more efficient
and improved services for its customers satisfaction. Water services after being
privatized likewise improved. The total number of employees working for Maynila Water
and Maynilad was 49% less than that of MWSS, the total number of people served also
rose from 7.3 million to 8.6 million and water availability rose from 17 hours to 21 hours
in five years of ownership (Chia, Water Privatization in Manila, Philippines. Should
Water be Privatized?). What used to be a government regulated and solely-owned oil
company has now been opened to free market. The oil companies has been fierce and
aggressive this decade because of the other emerging small oil companies and Petron
only the remaining member of the big three companies (others were Chevron and
Shell). The competition is getting stronger and small companies are selling relatively
cheaper oils (Gamboa, Oil Deregulation Still Going Well).

While it could be said that privatization rescues the ineffectiveness of governments


responsibility to some social services, it remains a fact that privatization of social
services doesnt serve the interests of the people.

Along with the privatization of social services is the higher cost of products and services
since gaining profit is the aim of engaging into business. Unlike the government who
must think of social services as its responsibility rather than business, private investors
think the other way around. Maynilad rate increased from 2.32PHP to 6.75PHP and
Manila Water increased from 4.96PHP to 15.46PHP in their first five years (Chia, Water
Privatization in Manila, Philippines. Should Water be Privatized?). We are also aware of
the inundated rate hikes Meralco gives every less than a year, and this year, Meralco
announced a rate hike of 3.44PHP per kilowatt hour. It marks the highest of all rate
hikes of Meralco in the history (Dumlao, Meralco Staggers Rate Hike After Protests). If
it will be compared to the previous months, for example, the Meralco rate in June 2007
which is 1.89 per kilowatt hour, then the recent rate of Meralco is so much higher
compared before (Department of Energy, Meralco Rates).

Some of the people will be doomed to this kind of set-up because these people will no
longer have the access to the privatized social services anymore. The basic wage is

466PHP for non-agriculture and 429 for agriculture and others (National Wages and
Productivity Commission, Daily Minimum Wage Rates), and it will just be enough for
food and shelter because of the continuing higher cost of living in the Philippines.
According to Heydarian:

Since the 1990s, the Philippines today one of the worlds fastest growing economies
has gradually transitioned towards a market-economy. The banking sector was
liberalized, state-owned enterprises were privatized, most trade barriers were eliminated
and public services were transferred into private hands. Yet, average real wages have
stagnated, poverty rates have remained in the double-digit territory, and unemployed
rates have even increased during the recent boom times. For many critics, the price of
water and electricity have become increasingly inaccessible, while big oil companies
can allegedly dictate market prices without much regulatory scrutiny. In short, the state
has withdrawn, the private sector has taken over, but old problems persist or have
been exacerbated. (The Privatization Dilemma: Regulatory Prices in the Philippines
and Emerging Markets).

Privatizing social services might gear towards efficiency and world-class


services, while some might do well in this kind of system, many more will still be left
behind. The government should make decisions with care; it should not take only some
into consideration and by doing that, the government would look only on one side of the
coin. According to the Preamble of Philippines, its people must promote the common
good and by privatizing social services, it would mean that there will be underprivileged
and that the government is neglecting its responsibilities to some of its citizens which is
the poor.

One of the disadvantages is that the privatized company will no longer operate in the
public interest. While a state-owned company primarily serves the citizens of the state, the
primary goal of a privately operated company is to make profit. It may make these profits at the
expense of its customers without serving them properly. For example, it may choose the market
which is most profitable to operate in and leave less wealthy customers without a service.