• ‘Bidding 3rd-party issue settled in a year’

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    The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said it would settle within a year’s time the third-party issue bugging the bidding process for distribution utilities.

    “We issued a resolution in November 2015. One of the sections said pending the issuance of a definitive guidelines for CSP (competitive selection process), the DUs (distribution utilities) might undertake their own CSP,” ERC Commissioner Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc said in a press conference on Tuesday.

    The CSP, which was issued by the DOE through Department Circular 2015-06-0008, mandates the holding of a competitive bidding between DUs and generation companies in the sale of electricity through the mediation of a third-party expert.

    “We have not had a consultation regarding the CSP guidelines, but once [we do, we’ll be able to complete it],” Taruc said. “It will be a take-off from our initial work when we did our public consultations in 2013 and 2014. It will be more zeroed in on specific CSP guidelines.”

    With regard to the third-party issue, Taruc said, “This will be up for discussion with the commissioners. We can think of that as one of the modalities—one of several options on the table.”

    Meanwhile, former Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said a DOE circular has it that the third party is not a transaction adviser, but an auction committee that would ensure envelopes would not be opened unnecessarily.

    Petilla said the process should not result in higher electricity rates.

    “It will also not increase the rates, as fees will be shouldered by those bidding and those bidding will incorporate all their cost into the bid,” Petilla explained. “Basically, the third party is like bids and awards committee.”

    Petilla said the DUs might have their own form of CSP.

    “The first requirement is that they should conduct CSP with respect to the procurement of their PSAs,” he said.

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