MANILA, Philippines - Outgoing Energy chief Rene Almendras stressed the department remains hands-off from pricing concerns in the power sector, noting the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) as the agency in charge of such.
"The law does not allow the DOE (Department of Energy) to get involved in anything regarding pricing. We're not supposed to be involved," Almendras said in an interview with ANC Headstart on Tuesday.
He explained the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) gave the ERC the power to regulate power generation pricing.
The comment was made amid calls that the Energy department failed to detect that state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) has been "overcharging" Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).
"The case has been pending since 2008 ... Meralco has filed a case with the ERC and the ERC is hearing it," Almendras noted.
Meralco is currently seeking a refund of about P10 billion in transmission line costs that were allegedly overcharged by PSALM.
President Aquino earlier this month has revealed Almendras will take a new post as his team's Cabinet secretary, while Leyte Governor Jericho Petilla will become the new Energy chief.