By Lenie Lectura – September 19, 2017
from Business Mirror
THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has denied the petitions of some individuals who want to intervene in the ongoing hearings regarding the Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) applications for approval of the power-supply agreements (PSAs) with various power producers. “The commission deliberated and resolved to deny the petitions filed by Romeo Junia, Fe Bait et al., and Uriel Borja to be admitted as intervenors. However, the said petitions are hereby treated as oppositions,” the ERC said in separate orders. “The commission also resolved to deny the motion to dismiss filed by Junia.”
Meralco has inked seven PSAs with Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy), St. Raphael Power Generation Corp. (SRPGC). Atimonan One Energy Inc. (A1EI), MGen.Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC), Global Luzon Energy Development Corp. (GLEDC), Central Luzon Premiere Power Corp. (CLPPC) and Mariveles Power Generation Corp. (MPGC).
However, the ERC needs to issue its green light before the signed PSAs take effect. The ERC denied the petitions for intervention in four of the seven PSA applications. These are the PSAs between Meralco and RP Energy, A1EI, PEDC and SRPGC. In separate orders, the ERC said the petitions for intervention “were belatedly filed by the said petitioners”.
Based on the foregoing rule, petitions for intervention must be filed at least five days before the date of hearing, or at least five days before the scheduled hearing on November 29, 2016. However, Junia filed his petition on June 13 or seven months after the initial hearing.
Bait et. al., filed their petition on June 28, or seven months after the initial hearing, while Borja filed his petition on August 3, or nine months after the initial hearing.
Also, the ERC said there was no verified petition for intervention filed by the petitioners within the period provided in the rules. Neither did the petitioners appear at the initial hearing despite several publications.
When sought for comment, ERC Spokesman Floresinda Digal said if applicants are through presenting their evidence, in the absence of any intervenor or oppositor, who will, likewise, be given a chance to present evidence, the case will be deemed submitted for resolution.
“If you are given the status of an intervenor, you can present witnesses, as well as cross examine the other party’s witness,” said Digal, also a lawyer. “If you are treated as an oppositor, you may submit your position paper anytime during the proceedings for the commissions consideration.”