• Competitive power procurement approved


    THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has given its go-signal for the implementation of the competitive selection process (CSP) in the procurement of power supplies by distribution utilities (DUs) for their captive markets.

    According to ERC chairman Jose Vicente B. Salazar, the move aims to make transparent the manner in which DUs buy electricity from power generators.

    The CSP assures that such supply is bought and passed on to consumers at the least possible cost, he said.

    Under the CSP, Salazar said that a DU may execute a power supply agreement (PSA) with a generation company only after successfully complying with the requirements of the process.

    The requirement is for a DU to openly call for and receive at least two qualified bids from generation companies.

    The DU is not barred from entering into a contract for power supply.

    The CSP further requires that direct negotiations with other power suppliers be entered into only after at least two failed CSPs.

    Once implementation of the CSP begins, the ERC will no longer allow the filing by DUs of applications for PSA approval without compliance with the CSP requirements.

    “The resolution removes all uncertainties on how the CSP will be implemented by the ERC and paves the way for a regime of greater transparency and competition in the power supply procurement processes in the industry,” said Salazar.

    In justifying the ERC’s decision, Salazar said the move to implement the CSP “comes after a period of study and consultation with concerned industry players and stakeholders of over two years.”

    Salazar pointed out that the study and consultations on CSP started way back in February 2013.

    He also said there should be no more delays in its implementation to ensure that the distribution of power supply in the country remains stable.

    “The process has come to a convincing conclusion that the CSP will promote transparency and competition as it advances the welfare and interest of consumers,” said Salazar.

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

    However, power distribution giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is opposed to the DOE circular.

    Meralco warned that the DOE circular would ultimately result in “increased generation charges to the damage of consumers” as it fails to promote the interest of the public.

    Meralco said the circular also violates the right of the DUs to choose the manner upon
    which they will comply with their least cost obligation under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) and their franchises.

    According to Meralco, under the CSP, it will be difficult if not impossible for DUs not to
    contract with a winning bidder that does not have a track record.

    Meralco’s position was supported by CitizenWatch, an independent network of citizen rights advocates, saying that the CSP would only cause power rates to go up.

    CitizenWatch said that the CSP will not work in an environment where there are not enough power generation players and will be prone to abuse, resulting in higher cost of electricity.


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    1. Roralidrakkonis on

      Just a reminder that the CSP is the brainchild of outgoing DOE Secretary Jericho Petilla now running under the LP banner. During his stint he did little in the way of preparing for the anticipated power shortage that hit us early this year even though the Maalampaya mainternance shutdown was scheduled well in advance. One of the areas of neglect was the building of new power generation facilities.
      As CitizenWatch and Meralco mentioned, CSP will work only with more competition in the gencos or if the DU is a small electrical cooperative. Bit with major DUs like Meralco forced to use it, the gencos can once again dictate prices like they did during the shutdown when they, too, all ‘broke down’ at the same time. And knowing the LPs track record of using cronies for contract bidding, this will only make our already high electricity prices even higher.

      • There goes LP’s “Daang Matuwid.” And Petilla has the nerve to run for senator. Argh, I just don’t know how can these people think that they can contribute positive change in the Philippines whereas all they do is make everyone suffer for their greed.

        What used to be competitive procurement in the government has become merely a figment of our imagination. Pnoy’s LP members suck the milk dry out of each and every government project they put out there. No sense in doing business with the government.

        Electricity prices are simply out of our control. Good thing Meralco still has sense in noticing the government’s dirty tactics. I just hope that the latter gets the message and act upon it.