Officials of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) were warned on Sunday that they risk being charged if they will not release this week the agency’s report on the alleged collusion by generation companies to increase electricity rates last year.
Rep. Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna said if the ERC will not submit the report by the end of the week, he will file a complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against the ERC.
“The ERC [officials]cannot just renege on their promise during budget deliberations,” Colmenares said in a statement.
“ERC Executive Director Francis Juan promised during the budget deliberations in Congress that they would submit the report on October 25, but it is already November and still no report,” he added.
If the commission fails to submit the report this week, the lawmaker said he will file graft charges against ERC officials.
He noted that there is no reason why the ERC should delay releasing its report since the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) submitted its report to the commission last August.
“The PEMC found evidence of anti-competitive behavior in November and December 2013, which was discussed in a report to the ERC as early as August this year. Also, among the findings submitted to the ERC involved violation of a rule that prohibits generating companies from withholding electric supply during trading because it affects volume and prices,” Colmenares said.
He said the PEMC admitted that there were anomalies during the Malampaya shutdown last year, which triggered a rise in electricity rates.
The lawmaker said there is no reason to grant President Benigno Aquino 3rd extra powers because the feared power shortage next year can be avoided if the Department of Energy can reschedule the maintenance shutdowns of power plants either before or after summer when power demand is no longer high.
“That is why Pres. [Benigno] Aquino [3rd] should not demand emergency power since the supposed supply problem was admitted by the DOE as a mere lack of reserve mainly caused by scheduled maintenance shutdown of Malampaya and other power plants in summer of next year,” Colmenares said.