Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) power supply agreements (PSAs) with affiliate firms are being reviewed to ensure that only “just and reasonable costs” are billed to consumers, a regulator said on Friday.
Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) officer-in-charge Alfredo Non said the agency was carefully scrutinizing Meralco’s PSA requests amid criticism that had allowed Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) – one of the companies involved in the alleged “sweetheart deals” – had been allowed to operate last year.
“The ERC’s grant of provisional or even a final approval to just one Meralco PSA application should not be equated to all PSAs approval as applied by the applicants,” Non said.
PEDC’s provisional authority was granted as the regulator deemed that it would be beneficial “to have a continuing stable power supply than have rotating brownouts which is more damaging to the economy.”
The rates and terms that were provisionally approved are not necessarily the same prices and conditions that will be set in the ERC’s final resolution, Non said, claiming that final figures have been lower in most instances.
The regulator was recently criticized for disapproving motions to intervene in the case, prompting Non to say that the complaints would still be considered as the review progressed.
The ERC said it had rejected the motions “considering the length of time which had already elapsed after the initial hearing of the subject Meralco PSA applications…” but clarified that the appeals would now be treated as “oppositions”.