ERC extends deadline for public bidding on power firms’ shares

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The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) extended the deadline for private power generation companies (gencos) and distribution utilities (DUs) from June 29, 2018 to December 29 of the same year.

Gencos and DUs are given until end-December “to offer and sell to the public a portion of not less than 15 percent of their common shares of stocks.”

The ERC said it is looking for clarification from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the allowed modes of public offering.

“In a letter dated 19 June 2018, the commission again sought for updated opinion on the same subject matter,” it said. “The commission is awaiting the response of SEC.”

All private gencos and DUs are directed to sell a portion of at least 15 percent of common shares to the public in a period of five years, as stated in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.

The order was implemented on June 29, 2011 and was supposed to end on June 29, 2016.

The ERC suspended the directive in 2016 following the petitions made by the Private Electric Power Operators Association (PEPOA).

PEPOA consulted the ERC on July 4, 2011, asking the ERC “whether registration of common shares at SEC was inadvertently omitted as a mode of public offering.”

On October 13, 2015, another petition was filed to include the registration in the SEC among the modes of public offering allowed by the ERC.

The deadline was pushed to June 29, 2017 to give affected parties time to comply with the directive.

The deadline was reset again to June 29 this year due to the declaration of martial law in Mindanao by President Rodrigo Duterte to neutralize the local terror group Maute and manage the violence in the region following a clash between government forces and the terror group in Marawi City in May last year.