The Department of Energy is leaving it to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to decide on whether the competitive selection process (CSP) in securing power supply agreements (PSAs) should be mandatory or voluntary.
In fact, DOE officer-in-charge Zenaida Monsada said the ERC has already drafted the final guidelines for the CSP.
“I understand until the end of the month is the deadline for comments. There could be focused group discussions (FGDs) or definitely there will be consultations,” Monsada told reporters.
She said that as the implementor of the circular, the ERC will decide whether the CSP will be mandatory or voluntary.
Monsada issued the statement in response to the proposal of power distribution giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to make the implementation of CSP voluntary.
Meralco president Oscar Reyes earlier said that the intended benefits of CSP will be maximized if its implementation will be voluntary.
The circular issued by the DOE mandates all distribution utilities (DUs) to produce PSAs only through a competitive selection process to ensure the reliability, quality and security of electric power.
Monsada defended the DOE’s move by saying “It’s basically a policy directive.”
The DOE’s landmark circular, or the Demand Aggregation and Supply Auctioning Policy (DASAP) in the electric power industry, primarily aims to ensure transparent and reasonable prices of electricity in a regime of free and fair competition and full public accountability.
In its circular, the DOE mandated the increase in transparency needed in the procurement process in order to reduce risks.
It also promotes and instills competition in the procurement and supply of electric power to all electricity end-users.
Monsada expressed belief that the circular would be implemented this year.
“Yes, I think so, because they already have the draft and they have already set the deadline for comments and consultations,” she said.
In issuing the circular, the DOE reiterated the government’s policy stating that all DUs must take cognizance and assume full responsibility to forecast, assure and contract for the supply electric power within their respective franchise areas to meet their obligations particularly to their captive market.