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ERC abolition: Energy groups vote ‘No’, consumer group votes ‘Yes’

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, June 25th, 2018


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Some energy distribution agencies are not in favor of the proposed abolition of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

These include the National Power Corporation (NPC), the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), and the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

Instead of abolition, the group said they are more inclined to streamline the agency by reviewing its mandate in order to become more effective.

NEA Deputy Administrator Rossan Rosaro-Lee said they would “go for the independence of ERC while NPC Representative Margarita Egnisaban suggested, “to strengthen ERC.”

However, “Laban Konsyumer Incorporated” President Victor Dimagiba said ERC should be abolished saying the agency has always been unfair to consumers.

“If you want consumers to understand what Congress wanted to do, we should stick with the version of the Speaker ‘s resolution to abolish ERC,” said Dimagiba.

ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera, meanwhile, said they are willing to obey Congress’ decision the issue.

With the number of oppositions, the technical working group has decided to follow House Bill 7104 as the working draft. The bill proposes strengthening of the ERC under a new name Philippine Power Regulatory Commission.

Meanwhile, House Committee on Government Reorganization Chairman Mark Sambar is still not discounting the proposal of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to abolish ERC. Alvarez suggested so saying it is the only way to stop corruption in the said agency. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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Suspension takes effect vs. four ERC commissioners over Meralco woes

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, July 6th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday (July 6) issued a memorandum directing Chairperson Agnes Devanadera of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to implement the suspension of ERC Commissioners Alfredo Non, Gloria Yap-Taruc, Josefina Asirit, and Geronimo Sta. Ana for neglect of duty.

The memorandum cited the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman dated May 18, 2018, to suspend the four commissioners for misuse of bill deposits of Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

The memorandum stated that the four ERC officials will be suspended from the service “for three months without pay” and that the Ombudsman’s decision is “immediately executory and may not be interrupted by any motion, appeal or petition that may be filed by the respondents unless otherwise ordered by the Ombudsman or by any court.” – Marje Pelayo

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ERC officials agree on abolition

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House Energy Committee discussed Wednesday, May 23, the bill seeking to abolish the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) due to controversies of corruption.

Committee Chairman Congressman Lord Allan Jay Velasco proposed the abolition of ERC and sought to replace it with a Board of Energy that is totally independent of the Department of Energy (DOE.) With this, Velasco believes, corruption in the agency would be deterred.

“With my bill, I just want to create another ERC adding more members, commissioners, creating an executive director,” Velasco said.

Meanwhile, ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera said they are doing their best to resolve issues of corruption hounding the agency admitting that reforms are indeed necessary. However, she argued that they lack manpower especially in the technical section which handles the most crucial task such as computation of power rates.

Devanadera said most of the senior employees have resigned, some even transferred to other companies for better opportunities.

“Our people are pirated by the stakeholders, GenCos because the training was really good as work experience,” she said.

Devanadera added that somehow they agree on the proposed abolition of ERC.

“We are ready whatever the result will be and the recommendation,” she said. – Grace Casin

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Abolition of NFA Council should go through Congress – Sen. Pangilinan

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, April 6th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Former Presidential Assistant for Food Security & Agricultural Modernization Secretary Kiko Pangilinan during the Aquino administration and now an incumbent senator (UNTV News)

As a former presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization that governed the National Food Authority (NFA), Senator Francis Pangilinan has expressed disagreement over the issue of abolishing the NFA Council.

Sen. Pangilinan insisted that one of the functions of the NFA Council is to see if the country really needs to import rice.

It has also called for the investigation or audit of NFA rice.

Pangilinan said that during the Senate hearing, they found out that NFA rice supplies were being sold as commercial rice.

“Ipaliwanag ninyo bakit nagkakaroon ng diversion. Bakit nagkaroon ng 245% increase in releases of your stock? Where did it go?,” he said.

The lawmaker said there should be a law before NFA Council can be abolished; the president’s directive is not enough.

Malacañang said on Thursday that President Rodrigo Duterte wants the NFA to be under the Office of the President.

During the president’s meeting with the traders from Luzon Thursday night, they committed to giving 100,000 bags of rice every week that will be sold in the market at P37 per kilo through the NFA.

Agriculture secretary Manny Piñol said this system will be done until the imported rice arrives in the country.

President Duterte also appealed to the rice traders not overprice hoard the rice — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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