ERC executive director quits, cites health reasons

by Myrna Velasco – January 1, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

An official who had become the “face and voice” of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for many years – Executive Director Francis Saturnino Juan will step down on January 8, 2016 from the regulatory body citing his need for “medical treatment” as the primary reason.

That was formally announced recently to the media by ERC Chairman Jose Vicente B. Salazar, although he noted that he will still retain Juan’s services for sometime as the Commission’s consultant.

A University of the Philippines-educated lawyer, Juan who was also the ERC’s spokesperson for years had fought many battles for the Commission, including the time that it was under attack due to the “collusion charges” hurled against power industry players.

He also faced many Congressional inquiries and represented the ERC even in court proceedings when the Commission’s rulings were legally questioned.

Salazar has acknowledged that Juan will be a “big loss” to the Commission; while power industry players perceive the services he rendered as “unmatched.”

Following Juan’s exit, Salazar has indicated that the Executive Director post at the ERC will already be dissolved and will be replaced with three divisions.

The ERC chief said that will form part of the on-going reorganization they have been pursuing at the regulatory body.

Aside from Juan, the head of ERC’s legal department – lawyer Noel Salvanera – has also decided to quit his post last December 8, 2015.

His team will be replaced by a contingent from the Commission’s Consumer Affairs Service (CAS) unit, according to Salazar.

“The reorganization is the last that will be undertaken, hopefully, we will have the right team,” the ERC chief said.

He further indicated that the ERC is “in the process of expanding our personnel complement and this is preparatory toward that particular end (reorganization),” qualifying that the intent will be to double their workforce to about 500 employees.