ERC reviewing, simplifying internal processes

By Jordeene Sheex Lagare – July 28, 2018
from The Manila Times

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is reviewing its internal processes to enhance and streamline its functions as part of its implementation of Republic Act 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018.

In a statement on Friday, ERC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Agnes Devanadera said the move was part of her agency’s program to eliminate backlogs.

“Our efforts are geared toward improving efficiency and effectiveness in light of the zero-backlog program the ERC is embarking on. With the review and streamlining of processes that we have started to undertake, we were able to identify the processes that need to be improved for each unit or section of the ERC,” she explained.

Outputs of the ERC’s seven services shall be presented for approval and uploaded on the agency’s website. Five of these have completed their respective workshops aimed at revisiting and streamlining processes.

“The process review and streamlining is also in line with the ERC’s 5Es project that aims, among others, to automate the process for transparency and accountability toward achieving excellent results,” Devanadera said.

“We expect [to]realize the fruits of our initiatives soon in order to provide electric power industry stakeholders, including the consuming public, with better and faster services,” she added.

This came after the commission held dialogues with the First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative Inc. (Fibeco) this month on matters that included easing the impact of the power rate hike, and the Batangas II Electric Cooperative (Batelec II) to address the concerns of former Tanauan Mayor Francisco Lirio about the co-op’s annual report and ways to improve its distribution services.

The ERC was set to meet with Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative Inc. (Omeco) officials this week.

“We are intensifying adherence to our mandate under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) to ensure the adequate promotion of consumer interests. Toward this end, I have called to our office some distribution utilities, particularly electric cooperatives, that we get a lot of complaints about to have them explain,” Devanadera said.

“I have also sent a team to areas where there are many consumer complaints and we were able to find out and document the things that are being done which are not right. We will be submitting the reports to Congress,” she added.

The discussions with co-ops and the spot inspections are being done to ensure consumers’ welfare, according to her.