Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said on Tuesday he has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to give the Department of Energy (DoE) administrative control over the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) so that the embattled agency can perform its mandate.
“I just want the ERC to be able to perform. I am asking that in my capacity as the alter ego of the President so I can supervise its administrative functions and all the pending tasks. I’ll keep on following this up,” Cusi said in an interview.
“We need to act on those pending tasks. We cannot afford for ERC not to perform its mandate. They have to really work,” Cusi added.
The ERC has been under scrutiny after allegations of corruption were made by the late Director Francisco Jose Villa, Jr. to ERC Chairman and CEO Jose Vicente Salazar, and infighting among the ERC commissioners.
“I am not passing judgement on anything. I am not a trier of facts. The cases have to be addressed separately,” Cusi said.
The energy chief, however, made it clear that the DoE would not take over ERC’s regulatory functions.
“I just have to see to it that they follow the rules that have been established. Under administrative supervision, you have to say, when there’s a case filed, it has to be resolved in a number of days. There are PSA [power supply agreements]pending, why is it pending,” he said.
Malacañang has not replied to Cusi’s request.