NABAWASAN NA: ERC closes pending cases for late, non-payment fees

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The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has finished around two dozen pending cases of electric cooperatives’ (EC) violations such as late or non-payment of supervision and regulation fees, reducing the commission’s caseload by half.

Payment of supervision and regulation fees are required from ECs as stated under the ERC’s Item IV of Resolution No. 21, Series of 2007.

The fees are annual expenses incurred by the ERC in the supervision of electric utilities, transmission companies and/or in the regulation or fixing of their rates.

“The said fees shall be paid on or before September 30th of each year with a penalty of fifty per centum in cases of delinquency. Provided, further, that if the fees or any balance thereof are not paid within sixty days from the said date, the penalty shall be increased one per centum for each month of delinquency thereafter,” ERC resolution stated as reported on BusinessWorld.

However, the resolution issued by ERC involve whether or not the ECs should be held liable and sanctioned under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) also known as Section 46 of Republic Act No. 9136.

Also at issue is whether or not utilities’ directors and officers should be criminally charged over non-payment of penalties.

ERC records showed that the utilities have paid their remaining penalties before the releasure of show-cause orders.

However, ERC also noted that sometimes exercising leniency in its judgements is fair and just.

ERC chairperson Agnes VST Devanadera signed the termination of cases. The ERC also warned that similar violations in the future “shall be dealt with more severely.”