MANILA – The country’s newly-formed competition watchdog has joined regulators in investigating whether the simultaneous shutdowns of power plants last month violated anti-trust regulations, officials said Tuesday.
Twenty power plants shut down between July 26 to August 5, eight of which were unscheduled, mostly due to equipment leaks, officials said. This shaved over 4,000 MW off the Luzon grid, which runs on 10,000 MW.
“We are in coordination with the PCC (Philippine Competition Commission),” Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar told a Senate hearing.
Energy officials however acknowledged that proving collusion among power producers would be difficult.
“Napakahirap talaga ma-determine yan [It will be very difficult to determine]. Who earns what, how much, at whose expense? … It will require some time and we will be happy to report to you,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.