House restores budget for CHR, ERC and NCIP

UNTV News   •   September 20, 2017   •   3153


House Appropriations Committee Chair and Davao City Congressman Karlo Nograles

MANILA, Philippines — The Lower House has restored the budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) after the heads of the three offices appealed to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

House Appropriations Committee Chair and Davao City Congressman Karlo Nograles said CHR Chair Jose Luis “Chito” Gascon agreed.

That the CHR should extend its investigations beyond human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by state agents to also include other groups who victimize members of the police, the military and even civilians.

As for the ERC and the NCIP, Nograles said that Speaker Alvarez and Majority Leader Fariñas secured their assurance that they will start taking all the necessary steps to fight graft and corruption and to carry out the full mandate of their respective offices.

With this development, Nograles said the restoration of the budget for the CHR, the ERC and the NCIP will already be incorporated in the final version of the General Appropriations Bill for 3rd reading approval by the House of Representatives in plenary. – UNTV News & Rescue

Think tank warns of power shortage, rate increases in the coming months

Marje Pelayo   •   November 27, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Power rates are seen to shoot up in the coming months along with a series of power interruptions, according to the group Infrawatch PH.

It’s because the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has not approved all six new power supply agreements which Meralco is eyeing to source its supply from.

According to former congressman now Infrawatch PH Convenor Terry Riddon, ERC should have decided on the agreement as early as November 22.

But until now, the agreements have not yet been finalized even as Meralco’s power supply agreement (PSA) are set to expire on December 26.

This would likely result in power shortage and power rate increase in the coming months, according to Riddon.

“Natatakot po tayo na pagka nag-lapse po yung mga kontrata ng ilan pong tinatawag na PSAs ay kukuha po tayo ng kuryente sa spot market (It worries us that once the PSAs expire, we will need to source our electricity from the spot market),” he explained.

“Siyempre alam naman po natin kapag hindi contracted price may tendency na sumipa yung presyo ng kuryente (And as we all know, contracted price could result in power rate hikes),” he added.

But ERC denied stalling the new PSA as they received the applications only in October 22 this year.

Under the law, ERC has at least 75 days to issue a provisional authority on such type of agreements.

“Hindi ko alam kung saan nanggaling yung notion na nagkakaroon ng delay, (I don’t know from where that notion of a delay came from),” defended ERC Spokesperson Florinda Digal.

“Kapag file ng application sine-set namin for hearing, so may aksyon na kami. I think hindi lang naipaliwanag sa kanila na may proseso kasi bawat application na pina-file dito sa amin and gumagalaw yung application in accordance with the procedure,” she explained further.

(Once the application is filed, we set the hearing right away, so there’s action. I think, it was not explained to them properly that there is a process to follow and that the application is working in accordance with the procedure.)

The ERC maintained that it will not allow any delays in contracts that could result in shortage of power supply and high electricity prices that would inconvenience consumers.

“This is what we want to assure the public whenever we receive applications tinitignan din namin kung ano yung magiging epekto nito at syempre hindi kami papayag na magkaroon ng deficiency sa supply just because something is pending with us,” Digal said.

(This is what we want to assure the public whenever we receive applications. We look at their effects and of course, we do not allow deficiencies in the supply just because something is pending with us.)

Meanwhile, Meralco vows to cooperate with the government in order to minimize the impact on the consumers.

“We are committed to work with the government in ensuring that we obtain the least cost for consumers,” Meralco’s spokesperson Joe Zaldarriga assured. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

Power rate hike to take effect this month

Maris Federez   •   November 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – After a series of power rate reduction in the past months, the November electric bill will see a spike of 47 centavos per kilowatt-hour.

This means that a household consuming 200-kilowatt hour in a month will have an added P94 charge, while those consuming 300-kWh will have a P141 additional tab on their bill.

Meanwhile, households consuming 400-kWh will have an added P188 and P235 for those with 500-kWh monthly consumption.

Meralco said the power rate hike is due to the increase in the price of electricity in the spot market which is an effect of the series of yellow alert and the malfunctions that happened in several plants in the Luzon grid.

Furthermore, the refund that the Energy Regulatory Commission ordered Meralco to issue to their customer is also already depleting. The refund had been a big help in reducing the power rate in the past months.

“Nung September nandun po yung buhos nung net settlement surplus refund na inutos ng ERC sa Philippine Electricity Market Corporation kaya malaki naging pagbaba sa singil sa kuryente noong Setyembre na umabot sa mahigit 50 centavos per kilowatt hour ngayon since wala na yan or very minimal nalang yung impact nyan ngayong Nobyembre natin naramdaman yan,” Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said.

This news has brought much concern to Meralco customers.

For now, Meralco has yet to determine if the high power rate will continue until next month, although the electric company said there is a possibility that it will go down in December because electric consumption reduces as the country experiences colder temperatures. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

ERC: SC decision might result in the cessation of power supply

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 12, 2019

Courtesy : Pixabay

The Supreme Court’s decision to deny the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) motion for reconsideration might result in the cessation of power supply.

The ERC has filed a motion for reconsideration of SC’s ruling to void over 90 power supply agreements (PSA) that did not undergo bidding.

“The High Court’s decision will result to the possible immediate termination of 99 affected PSA contracts which will result in the cessation of power supply to 52 Distribution Utilities (DUs) that are serving 13 million electricity consumers,” according to their statement.

There might also be a possible surge in power bills due to the said decision, the ERC added.

However, the ERC also said they will comply with the directive of the Supreme Court.

“We only need to seek guidance through a motion for clarification on how to implement their decision particularly on the rates and the continued supply of electricity to the affected public utilities,” according to ERC chairperson and CEO, Agnes VST Devanadera.—AAC


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