PCC probing gencos over Red Alerts

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The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is compiling more evidence in its probe, as it tries to determine if power generation companies’ (gencos) colluded leading the Red Alerts and rotating brownouts in Luzon from May 31-June 2.

PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said in a webinar over the weekend that the agency hopes to obtain more information soon, but withheld specific details.

The Department of Energy earlier (DOE) sought the assistance of the PCC, as well as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), and the Department of Justice to determine if gencos committed economic sabotage through the simultaneous shutdowns of their power plants. Malacanang, then, ordered PCC, ERC, and DOJ to aid the DOE’s probe.

Balisacan said the PCC is now closely working with the DOE on the matter, enforcing a tripartite partnership between the two agencies and the ERC, signed in 2019. The partnership intends to strengthen cooperation between the said agencies, especially when it comes to probing anti-competition cases in the power sector.

The DOE only allows hydropower generators are allowed to conduct preventive maintenance in the summer months, which fall in the second quarter, based on a department circular issued last year. Gencos are, then, to submit their planned outage schedules to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, which will then submit the grid operating and maintenance program to the DOE.

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