ERC shuns representation in CSP proceedings of DUs

By Myrna M. Velasco – Updated November 18, 2019, 11:06 AM
from Manila Bulletin

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is repudiating proposals for it to assign or send observer-representative in the competitive selection process (CSP) for power supply agreements (PSAs) being underwritten by the country’s distribution utilities and electric cooperatives.

In its correspondence to the Department of Energy (DOE), ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera stipulated “it is not prudent for (ERC’s) representative to be present as an observer during CSP proceedings.”

The DOE has been sending representatives as “observers” in the CSP undertakings of the DUs; but the regulatory body shuns that particular route noting that its objectivity may eventually be compromised or construed for biases when it evaluates the PSA applications of these power utilities and generation companies.

“Considering that the PSA that will be signed following the CSP proceedings will be eventually filed with the ERC, the presence of our representative might give the impression that the Commission has given its stamp of approval on the resulting PSA,” the ERC chief expounded.

She qualified the ERC has concerns that while the CSP is considerably a step prior to the regulatory proceedings on evaluation and approval of PSAs, such may already “create a perception that the entire CSP proceedings was done in compliance to all applicable rules and may no longer be assailed during the hearing for the application for the PSA approval.”