For Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to have a stronger influence in addressing the issues of the energy sector, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, Sherwin Gatchalian, filed Senate Bill No. 487 or An Act Enhancing The Governance Structures Of The Energy Regulatory Commission which allows ERC to create its own charter.
If enacted into law, the move will provide ERC “more teeth” to regulate different energy stakeholders, like the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
“The birth of ERC came about because of EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001). But if you read EPIRA, there is much room for improvement especially given recent developments in the industry, so I am going to push for the creation of an ERC charter,” said Gatchalian.
The vice chairman said that the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) still has the opportunity for growth and he has discussed this with Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla and ERC Chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta. They all agreed to revisit the position of ERC in the said act.
Gatchalian earlier called on ERC to penalize NGCP for its failure to complete its transmission projects on time which led to the disruption of the energy flow in the country. According to ERC, 66 projects are currently delayed, this is aside from 6 projects with national importance.
“ERC is one of the most important actors in the energy sector, so we have to make sure that it has enough power to penalize,” he stressed.
He also added that the establishment of the ERC charter suggests a good sign with another proposed legislation to streamline the government bureaucracy.