THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has asked the Department of Energy (DoE) for its comment on the draft guidelines for the competitive selection process (CSP) and whether its proposed rules do not contravene the circular earlier issued by the policy-maker.
In a chance interview on Tuesday, ERC Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Agnes VST Devanadera said the draft guidelines will have stricter provisions, including the blacklisting of power generating companies that failed to deliver on their contractual obligations.
She said she had sat down with Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi asking for his formal letter stating that the draft guidelines do not go against the DoE circular. She said his clearance had been given verbally during their meeting.
The DoE circular is DC 2018-02-0003, which adopted and prescribed the policy for the CSP process in the procurement by the distribution utilities of power supply agreements for their captive market. It was issued in February 2018.
The ERC guidelines have gone through several public consultations but before the issuance, the Supreme Court in May this year ruled that all PSAs forged after June 30, 2015 should undergo a CSP to arrive at the least-cost power for consumers.
The ERC then asked the court to reconsider its decision, but the move was later denied.
Ms. Devanadera said the ERC would also “seriously” look into the composition of the third-party bids and awards committee of the CSP process, which one legislator said might end up coming from the recommended experts of distribution utilities, thus defeating the purpose of having an independent entity during the bidding.
“Ang ginawa namin, hindi na namin siyempre dinagdagan kung ano man ang nasa DoE (What we did is, we did not of course added to what was already in the DoE circular),” she said, adding that the ERC guidelines are more “detailed.”
She also said that the blacklisting of generating companies that failed to deliver supply because of power outages is within the power of the ERC for violators of its rules.
She said she had talked with DoE officials on Tuesday when the House of Representatives heard the budget of the two agencies for 2020.
ERC Commissioner Catherine P. Maceda described the proposed guidelines as “very rigorous.”
“Wala namang conflict [with the DoE circular]. It’s just that, it’s more rigorous,” she said. “It offers very detailed CSP framework.”
Mr. Maceda said the ERC would issue the guidelines as soon as the DoE says that there is no conflict with its circular. — Victor V. Saulon