Universities join opposition to DOE, ERC policies on RCOA

ERC Chief suspended for four months

The Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and San Beda College-Alabang are the latest addition to organizations lauding the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to impose a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the mandatory migration of end-users to RCOA.

“The law should be respected, upheld and preserved always in order for institutions like the academic community to achieve its goal for the Filipino people, which in is in its case, the education of the next generation’s best and brightest minds,” the academic institutions said in a joint statement.

“The government and regulating bodies should ultimately seek to protect our basic, constitutional right to freedom of choice. And this right should extend to all electricity consumers,” ADMU president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ. said.

He added that if consumers are allowed to choose the best supplier for their needs, it will benefit everyone, especially smaller scale contestable customers like schools and university, who may have a difficult time searching for a new contract.

Academic establishments like San Beda College Alabang would have difficulty meeting the February 26 deadline set by ERC and DOE to enter into new retail electricity supply (RES) contracts, said Fr. Aelred Nilo, OSB, Director for Finance, Administration & General Services of San Beda College Alabang.

They would otherwise be disconnected from the distribution utility, or have to pay a supplier of last resort a 10 percent premium between the higher contract cost and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) rates, Nilo added.

“This recent TRO is an encouraging development towards preserving the right of every Filipino to choose freely, and we hope that this TRO paves the way to a more progressive power industry and a safer economic environment for the academe,” Villarin said.