by Myrna Velasco, 22 June 2015
from Manila Bulletin
As the retirement of seating Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairperson Zenaida Cruz-Ducut nears, it was tipped off by highly-placed sources that Commissioner Josefina Patricia M. Asirit has the highest chance to be appointed to the post.
“The ERC chairmanship is almost a done-deal,” a source has noted, albeit emphasizing that the appointment papers will not likely be out until Ducut’s departure from the Commission this July.
Aside from Asirit, it was gathered that there are several names in Malacañang’s shortlist – including some who are from other energy-affiliated government agencies.
Over at the Department of Energy, industry talks are also rife that outgoing Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla will be replaced by current Metropolitan Works and Sewerage System (MWSS) administrator Gerardo Esquivel. Petilla previously told media that he will be staying at the department until June 30, although it was gathered that he still has official schedules with some industry players beyond that.
He tendered an irrevocable resignation which he announced in April, but he was reportedly asked to stay longer until the Palace finds his replacement.
For ERC, if Asirit will be elevated to the chairmanship post, the Commission will have vacancy again for another Commissioner.
For the longest time, the regulatory body has been functioning as a four-piece Commission and it was only in April this year that it was completed with the appointment of Commissioner Geronimo D. Sta Ana.
While the new appointments at the ERC and DOE will be traversing the election season, it is anticipated that the watchful eye of the media will be on Malacañang’s move on the people to be designated at these two energy agencies.
Early on, legal questions are being raised on the probable promotion for Asirit with some parties noting that it could distort the concept of appointment duration and processes for such independent quasi-judicial bodies.