Solon underscores need to immediately implement SC ruling to bid out power supply agreements

Published May 7, 2019, 5:27 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez sought Tuesday the immediate bidding out of power distribution utilities’ power demands in the wake of impending power crisis.

Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez (  / MANILA BULLETIN) 
Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez

He made the call after the Supreme Court ruled that all power supply agreements (PSAs) of power utilities shall be subjected to a mandatory competitive selection process (CSP).

“Our present power generators are getting old, if we do not have new power generators soon, a power crisis would most likely be inevitable,” Benitez said in a statement.

The SC en banc granted the petition filed by Alyansa Para sa Bagong Pilipinas Inc. directing the conduct of CSP on all PSAs submitted by distribution utilities on or after June 30, 2015.

“It is lamentable how the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) made allowances for distribution utilities to continue with their self-negotiated deals despite the Commission’s resolution regarding the CSP on PSAs. It is unacceptable that Filipino consumers will have to ensure a power crisis in the near future because of this,” he pointed out.

He said the recent Supreme Court ruling was timely, as the country’s power supply was very much under threat.

“As Senior Vice Chairman of the Committee on Energy, I welcome the Supreme Court in their swift ruling regarding the bidding put of PSAs. The decision guarantees the protection of the interest of the consumers by preventing collusion between affiliated generation and distribution companies,” Benitez said.

He urged the House leadership to step in to ensure the swift implementation of the bidding.

“The Energy Regulatory Commission and the distribution companies owe it to the consuming public to immediately proceed with the bidding out of their power demands,” Benitez said.

He cited the need for Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to call for a meeting with ERC and power utilities to ensure the swift implementation of the bidding.