Power producers want to keep ERC’s mandate

by Alena Mae S. Flores – December 28, 2016 at 08:50 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Philippine Independent Power Producers Association expressed hope the Energy Regulatory Commission will remain the energy sector’s regulatory body, exercising its mandate under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

PIPPA issued the statement in the wake of the ongoing impasse involving the ERC, following the one-month leave of ERC chairman Jose Vicente Salazar on Dec. 5.

Salazar went on voluntary leave to accommodate an investigation launched by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Commission on Audit over irregularities allegedly exposed by late ERC director Francisco Jose Villa Jr.

“With respect to the current investigation on alleged anomalies, PIPPA believes that it will be conducted with due process and resolved expeditiously,” the group said.

PIPPA is an association of 28 companies engaged in power generation. Collectively, PIPPA’s members have 13,549.4 megawatts of grid installed capacity or 82.8 percent of the country’s total and serve millions of Filipinos in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

It said the power industry was recognizing and supporting the initiatives and reforms being implemented by the commission in furthering ERC’s institutional integrity, capabilities and efficiency.

PIPPA said it trusted that the ERC would continue to focus on much-needed industry reforms, particularly the implementation of mandatory contestability which is set for February next year.

Mandatory contestability requires customers with a monthly demand of one megawatt to choose their own suppliers by February.

“Mandatory contestability is a new and exciting phase in the electric power industry.  The industry is hopeful that the ERC is on top of its implementation,” said PIPPA managing director Anne Estorco Macias.

Macias said PIPPA was hoping that ERC would once again continue to bring the reforms back on track next year.

“Continuity and a certainty in policy direction are imperatives in raising such investments,” the group said.