By Myrna M. Velasco – November 24, 2017, 3:37 PM
from Manila Bulletin
After almost a year of being mired in controversial wrangles, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will be having former Solicitor General Agnes VST Devanadera as its chairperson replacing Jose Vicente B. Salazar who had been recently dismissed by Malacanang for misconduct raps.
The Office of the President issued this week the official appointment letter of Devanadera, a veteran in government service who also served as acting Justice Secretary during the Arroyo administration.
Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea transmitted on November 22 the notice to Devanadera relating to her appointment at the ERC, the regulating body of the restructured electricity sector.
Malacanang prescribed that her term shall be expiring on July 10, 2022, in which she will be serving the remaining tenure of Salazar.
Devanadera was reportedly in Singapore when her appointment came out, and was not able to give a definitive timeframe yet on when she could exactly assumer her post at the Commission.
Her first challenge at the Commission will be to “unite” the organization that had been in disarray since last year due to controversies triggered by the suicide of the late ERC Director Francisco Villa Jr.
Since that incident, the ERC had to go through series of troubles that had also adversely affected its dispensation of service as the power sector’s regulating body.
Upon Devanadera’s assumption at the Commission, she will need to immediately sift through regulatory concerns that had stalled due to the distressing events that had shaken the agency in the past months.
Additionally, she would need to act fast and sort out a strategy with the organization as to how they could expeditiously resolve and act on massive backlogs of pending cases and rate applications at the Commission.
The former solicitor general was first considered for the top post at the state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation, but she declined that particular appointment.
At the ERC, her mettle in leading ‘an organization still rising from chaos’ will be considerably tested; plus there is that ardent need on her part to fast-track her learning curve on industry issues so cases and petitions for the Commission’s attention would not be encumbered further.