PCC wants Congress to set regulatory framework for SPSB

By Lenie Lectura – February 6, 2019
from Business Mirror

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) sees the need to establish a regulatory framework before lawmakers act on Solar Para sa Bayan (SPSB) Corp.’s franchise application to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain distributable power technologies (DPTs) and mini-grid systems.

“The PCC is of the position that there is a need to establish a regulatory framework for the generation, transmission, distribution of electric power through DPTs and mini-grid  systems that will ensure competitive neutrality and fair competition in the market,” it said in a position paper submitted to the Senate.

The framework, it said, is a prerequisite to the grant of a franchise “to avoid potential competition concerns.”

Considering that DPTs and mini-grid  systems are “defined for the first time in a piece of legislation” and not only to a specific entity, the PCC said there is a need to define these based on a broader regulatory framework rather than on the terms of a specific franchise.

“Otherwise, it would result in a situation where a franchise is allowed to shape the market in which the franchisee will operate, giving the franchisee undue advantage against potential competitors,” it noted.

The PCC said this framework should be competitively neutral, one that will apply to all similarly entitled entities and activities, and not just SPSB. “Considering that this is an important emerging market, it is imperative to provide a level playing field and this includes not giving competitive advantage to any market participant.”

The PCC is suggesting either the passage of law or the promulgation of rules.