PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday named a former Justice secretary and government counsel as the new chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
The appointment letter signed on November 22 gave Agnes Vicenta Salayo Torres Devanadera a term of up to July 10, 2022 as head of the power industry regulator.
Devanadera replaces Jose Vicente Salazar, who was appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd to the post on July 31, 2005.
Devanadera served as the government corporate counsel under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from March 2, 2007 to January 15, 2010. She also served as Justice secretary.
Last month, the Duterte administration sacked Salazar as he was found guilty of simple and grave misconduct, after allegations of corruption and irregularities pertaining to the appointment of some officials.
He was also accused of violating procurement laws for certain projects. In November 2016, ERC Director Francisco Villa Jr. took his own life amid alleged pressure to approve questionable deals.
In an October 6 order, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said Salazar approved contracts without bidding and extended power supply deals without the knowledge of other commission members.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a text message: “If the Palace has released her (Devanadera’s) appointment, we welcome her to the energy industry with open arms.”
ERC spokesman Florensinda Digal, who confirmed the news in a text message, told reporters the appointment of the new chairman and chief executive officer would complete the commission membership.
“We look forward to continuously performing our mandate to the public under this new leadership,” Digal said.
National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) spokesman Cynthia Alabanza told reporters “projects pending approval may move forward. There are jobs to be done.”