ERC spokesperson Digal, Davao CPA named ERC Commissioners

Published July 20, 2020, 1:02 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Long-serving Director and Spokesperson Atty Floresinda G. Baldo- Digal has been designated by President Rodrigo R. Duterte as a new Commissioner of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

In his correspondence to ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea transmitted the appointment of Digal “as member of the ERC Commission for a term expiring on July 10, 2027, vice Josefina Patricia A. Magpale-Asirit.”

Another ERC-Commissioner appointee is Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Marko Romeo Lizada Fuentes, who is from Davao City; and not yet known to have background in the energy sector. He is replacing retired ERC Commissioner Paul Christian Cervantes.

Digal’s appointment, in particular, is a fulfillment of the long-time wish of the ERC as well as the energy sector to have a Commissioner rising from the ranks and who would already have deep knowledge of the industry even before taking on the Commissioner-position.

Prior to her appointment, Digal has been designated by Devanadera as Executive Director of the Commission; and she also served as director of the Regulatory Operations Service (ROS) of the agency.

In most hearings in Congress, when ERC is the subject of investigation on its functions, decisions or even on its application for budgets under the General Appropriations Act (GAA), Digal is generally the official assisting the ERC Chair and the other ERC Commissioners on responding to queries thrown at the Commission.

Digal is also very instrumental in explaining to the public the intricacies of cases and complaints they have received from consumers on the “bill shocks” that overwhelmed power utilities – primarily Manila Electric Company.

Being an insider, Digal would no longer need “learning curve” in her job as a Commissioner; and even on the urgent matters that need to be acted upon by the agency – and that is perceived as a major advantage for the industry, which for years had to struggle for longer waiting time on decisions for their regulatory applications or petitions.

Just last week, Digal was being grilled in Congress on the delays on performance-based rate setting that the ERC must institute for the next reset of its regulated entities, primarily transmission firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) as well as the private distribution utilities (DUs) and electric cooperatives.
There had been two vacant positions at the ERC, following the retirement of Asirit and Cervantes last July 10.  And with the appointments of Digal and Fuentes, the regulatory body will already be a full Commission.