THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said on Friday that it rejected 11 applications for the approval of Power Supply Agreements (PSA) because they were found to be legally defective.
The 11 applications failed to meet the requirements for Verification and Certification of Non-Forum Shopping and were therefore deemed legally defective.
“The ERC, being a quasi-judicial agency, is duty-bound to ensure that applicants and petitioners doing business in its regulated field act with truthfulness and diligence in the filing of their pleadings,” ERC chairman and CEO Jose Vicente B. Salazar said.
Pursuant to the ERC’s 2006 Rules of Practice and Procedure, applications for the approval of contracts must be accompanied by a verification stating that the affiant has read the pleading and that the allegations therein are true and correct based on his personal knowledge or based on authentic records.
The rules also require that applications contain a sworn Certification of Non-Forum Shopping which would contain, among others, a statement that the applicant has not commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any other court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency.
The ERC’s ruling was contained in separate orders issued to the following concerned applicants: (1) Biliran Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Bileco) & GNPD; (2) La Union Electric Company, Inc. (Lueco) & GNPD; (3) Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cotelco) & WMPC; (4) Camarines Sur IV Electric Cooperative, Inc.
(Casureco IV) & ULGEI; (5) Cebu I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cebeco I) & MPGC; (6) Davao Del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Daneco) & SMCPC; (7) Siargao Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Siarelco) & SMCPC; (8) Cebu II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cebeco II) & MPGC; (9) Misamis Oriental I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Moresco I) & SMCPC; (10) Zamboanga Del Sur I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Zamsureco I) & SMCPC; and (11) Nueva Vizcaya Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Nuvelco) & SMEC.
The ERC noted that the Supreme Court has ruled in several cases that, absent any compelling reasons, non-compliance with these basic legal requirements can lead to the dismissal of applications.
“It must be recalled that the Commission extended the deadline for filing of Applications for approval of power supply agreements that did not undergo competitive selection process. Notwithstanding the additional period provided for distribution utilities and generation companies to prepare their Applications, the aforementioned Applicants still filed legally defective Applications,” the ERC said.
To prevent a repeat of such incidents, the commission said it has implemented a rigorous pre-filing process in order to ensure that applications filed before it are in compliance with its requirements and resolutions.
It noted that the rules and procedures “are in place to benefit all stakeholders appearing before the Commission and ensure equitable play in the field of energy regulation.”