MARCH 11, 2020
ERC ISSUED TWIN ORDERS ON CHEAPER POWER ACT AND THE GRID OPERATING MAINTENANCE PROGRAM
The Energy Regulatory Commission issued separate Orders on March 2 and 3, 2020 on two separate Petitions filed by consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc. The ERC Orders were signed by the Chairperson Atty. Agnes VST Devanadera.
The ERC Orders gave stakeholders a period of ten (10) days to submit their respective Comments. The stakeholders include the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Department of Energy, Philippine Electric Market Corporation, the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management, Department of Budget and Management, Treasurer of the Philippines, Department of Finance, Private Electric Power Operators Association and the Manila Electric Company.
The first ERC Order stemmed from a Petition filed on 03 January 2020 by Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, in his personal capacity and as President of consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc. to Stop Effective Immediately the Collection of the NPC Stranded Costs and Debts in the current amounts of PhP0.0543/kWh and Php0.0428/kwh or a total of Php0.0971/kwh from all consumers pursuant to Republic Act No. 11371 .
Dimagiba joined with Senator Win Gatchalian and once again pressed for the immediate issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulation for the Act, saying that the delay denies ordinary Filipinos of having cheap electricity.
The law was created to make electricity more affordable to consumers by removing the National Power Corporation’s stranded debts and costs, the Universal Charge for Stranded Debts and Universal Charge for Stranded Contract Costs that are passed on to consumers and reflected in the monthly electricity bill.
The second ERC Order was issued on the Petition for Public Disclosure of the Grid Operating and Maintenance Program of Power Plants which was filed by Laban Konsyumer and Dimagiba before the Commission on 11 December 2019.
Dimagiba stressed that consumers deserve to know of all the activities of the different power plants. There needs to be transparency, in order to monitor the different power plants and their maintenance shutdowns. In the past, the outages and shutdowns of power plants have led to challenged power supply situations and also contributed to higher generation costs and electricity charges. These power plants and generation companies must be closely watched and kept in check so that their maintenance activities do not have any harm or ill-will against consumers. We have always advocated constant updates and transparency from these generation company owners.