ERC reorganization bill hurdles House on second reading

By Charmaine A. Tadalan – February 18, 2019 | 10:05 pm
from Business World

power grid

A BILL reorganizing the Energy Regulatory Commission and granting it some fiscal autonomy made it past second reading at the House of Representatives.

House Bill No. 9053, or the “Energy Regulatory Commission Act,” which was passed via voice vote, calls for the Commission to be “exclusively responsible for the regulation of the electric power and energy industry.”

The measure will also grant the ERC limited fiscal autonomy, which means the regulatory body may retain 30% of its revenue from its collection of fees, licenses, and fines among other charges.

Of this share, 10% will be used to augment ERC’s capital outlay (CO) budget, 45% for the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) budget and the remaining 45% for the personnel service (PS) budget

The bill also calls for the ERC to allocate 15% of its total annual approved budget for the training and upgrading of the skills of its personnel.

The bill is geared towards “promoting competition in the power and energy sector, and provide better protection to consumers,” as stated in the Committee Report.

Among others, the bill proposed to prescribe additional qualifications of the ERC Chairman and its members, and reorganize the Commission by creating additional offices, six line services and four oversight committees.

Further, the bill will prohibit Commissioners and their relatives from holding any interest, either as investor, stockholder, officer or director, in any company engaged in electricity generation, transmission, or distribution to the fourth civil degree of consanguinity.