AGHAM partylist lauds TRO against new RCOA policy

AGHAM partylist lauds TRO against new RCOA policy

A partylist group expressed support for the Supreme Court’s decision after the high court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the DOE and ERC’s new retail competition and open access (RCOA) policy, saying it limits free competition within the industry.

“We are hopeful that this TRO is made permanent in order to safeguard against the clear and unmistakable effects of restricting competition and curtailing customer choice,” AGHAM President Angelo Palmones said.

“Choice competition and our free market system should be allowed be allowed to operate without any government intervention. This is clearly enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines,” he added.

Under the new RCOA policy, power consumers with at least one megawatt of power requirement are required to choose from only 23 RES designated by ERC.

Palmones said if the TRO was not issued, end users would have been forced to enter into contracts with a retail electricity supplier (RES) under duress and unfavorable terms.

Consumers who have not yet chosen a supplier by the February 26 deadline imposed by ERC would have been served by a supplier of last resort. Their rates will be based on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) prices, with an additional 10 percent premium.

“AGHAM is with industry and consumers in believing that placing said industries and consumers in such unfavourable and disadvantaged position would have had an impact on the overall health of the economy as well,” the group said.

On the same day, DOE and ERC, in a joint statement said they will abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The industry officials vowed to exhaust all legal remedies “in order to put forward the factual and legal bases on which the promulgation of he assailed rules have been based.”

Read: Energy officials vow to push for new RCOA policy despite TRO

The Supreme Court issued the TRO on Tuesday, February 21, on the grounds that the new policy appeared to have no basis for the mandatory migration stated in DOE and ERC’s issuances.

Read: Supreme Court issues TRO vs DOE, ERC’s new RCOA policy