Ex-solon hails SC for balancing energy industry stakeholders' interests

The Supreme Court (SC) showed its "balanced" views and "modesty" when it recognized the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) mandate to determine power rates, a former House of Representatives member said.

(Kai Gradert/ Unsplash)

“The SC decision balances industry stakeholders’ interests. It also reflects the High Court’s modesty in recognizing the ERC’s mandate of protecting consumers as it determines and regulates power rates,” former AGHAM Party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones said in a statement on Wednesday night, July 6.

Palmones was referring to the SC ruling that upheld the ERC's order allowing power distribution giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to "stagger" the collection of automatic rate adjustments arising from generation costs for November 2013.

Based on the decision, he noted that the ERC acted within its regulatory powers and cannot be accused to have acted with grave abuse of discretion.

Palmones said the SC also recognized that the ERC protected consumers interests when it allowed the staggered recovery of the adjustment charges and, at the same time denied the request for carrying costs.

Apart from protecting consumers, Palmones said the SC upheld the importance that participants in the power sector can rely on the applicability of certain rules when the circumstances call for their application.

“The decision promotes stability that empowers ERC to exercise its regulatory power consistent with its mandate to protect the interests of consumers without compromising the industry’s ability to continuously provide sufficient power to support the country’s growing power requirements,” Palmones said.

Palmones is currently president of AGHAM, which stands for Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan.