Local group files motion against FIT-All increase

FIT-All Meralco

A local advocacy group filed a motion for reconsideration versus the recent approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on the increase of price in Feed-in Tariff Allowance (FIT-All).

In its motion dated June 4, Laban Konsyumer Inc. stated that “the assailed Decision is null and void and without legal effect as it violates the basic and cardinal principle of the first rights guaranteed in our Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution (Sec. 1, Article III), which mandates that: “(n)o person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the law.”

“Aside from being void ab initio and without legal effect, the assailed Decision must be reconsidered because it granted a higher FIT-All rate of PhP 0.2563/kWh despite the applicant National Transmission Corporation’s (“TRANSCO”) prayer for the approval of a FIT-All rate of PhP 0.2291/kWh, which is an act of grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of this Honorable Commission,” said LKI President and former Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) undersecretary Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba.

A copy of the motion was sent by email to Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and National Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO) on the same day, to place the parties on quick notices of the filing of the motion with the ERC.

Dimagiba said that TRANSCO failed to comply with the notice and republication of requirements of the Commission when it recalculated and asked for a higher FIT-All rate of PhP 0.2481/kWh.

As stated in the motion, the group concluded by saying that FIT-All should not be disregarded, it should only uphold and respect the constitutional right to due process of every electricity consuming public in this country.

As stated in an ERC Decision dated February 27, the Commission “hereby authorizes the TRANSCO to collect the Feed-In Tariff Allowance equivalent to PhP 0.2563/kWh, which is equivalent to PhP 0.0733/kWh increase from the current PhP 0.1830/kWh FIT-All rate, as its 2017 FIT-All rate, under ERC Case Number 2016-192 RC, In the Matter of the Application for the Approval of the Feed-In Tariff Allowance for the Calendar Year 2017 pursuant to the Guidelines for the Collection of the Feed-In Tariff Allowance and Disbursement of the Feed-In Tariff Fund, with Prayer for Provisional Authority.”

Dimagiba criticized the approved increase as anti-consumer and declared that LKI will continue to oppose the merit of FIT-All, saying that consumers are already overburdened with rising prices of basic commodities.

“Our consumer group has been actively working to protect the rights of consumers and ensuring that their welfare is of utmost priority in the eyes of government, regulators and private corporations. The increase in FIT-All will only exacerbate the already difficult situation that our fellow Filipino consumers are experiencing, with prices everywhere going up,” he said.

Dimagiba said that the government should consider shouldering this FIT-All cost instead of passing this on to the public.

“Through the ERC, we are urging TRANSCO to not collect any further charges from the Filipino consumer, which will add to their burden and cost of living, while the legality of FIT-All is still pending. We call for a total hold on all Fit-All collection by TRANSCO from the consumers, and a stop to the payment to generation companies that benefit from these charges,” Dimagiba added.

LKI is a nonprofit and non-stock registered entity in the Philippines that promotes consumer education and protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable business practices. The LKI focuses on education, prices and supply of basic and prime commodities, standards and qualities among other areas of consumer protection.