by Myrna Velasco – August 1, 2016
from Manila Bulletin
Four more power utilities have been penalized by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for failing to comply with mandatory submissions of their respective five-year Distribution Development Plan (DDP).
In this round, the ERC imposed penalties on: First Bay Power Corporation Inc. (FBPC), Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO), Abra Electric Cooperative (ABRECO) and Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (MAGELCO).
ERC Chairman Jose Vicente B. Salazar has noted that in keeping with their investigation and enforcement function, they “will see to it that every stakeholder complies with all relevant laws and directives… to promote and protect the long-term interests of the consumers.”
Patently, the DDP is the enabling document submitted by the distribution utilities to the Department of Energy (DOE) that in turn, shall also be the latter’s basis in updating and integrating their inputs into the overall Philippine Energy Plan.
In essence, this shall detail out the DUs programs on “acquisition of sub-transmission assets, expansion and rehabilitation of distribution facilities, and the costs associated to these activities in order to deliver the electric power services to the projected number of customers and their corresponding energy and demand requirements.
The ERC has stipulated that “upon receipt and consideration of their respective explanations, the ERC found no justifiable reason to absolve FBPC, ALECO, ABRECO and MAGELCO from the imposition of penalty.”
The regulatory body further pointed out that “the erring DUs were ordered to pay the amount o P50,000 each” as prescribed under the relevant provisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.
The ERC explained that “the DDP helps in its review of the DUs’ capital expenditure applications and facilitates fulfillment of (its) mandate of ensuring reasonable power rates.”
The regulatory body expounded that it received “a letter from the DOE in June, 2015 requesting the issuance of a Show Cause Order (SCO) to the aforementioned DUs for their failure to comply with the submission of the DDP.”
The ERC qualified “SCOs were issued to the erring DUs directing them to submit their respective explanations on why no administrative penalty should be imposed upon them.”