Solon questions ERC 'flexibility' with deadlines on Meralco deals


Posted at Oct 11 2017 04:53 PM

MANILA - A lawmaker criticized officials of the Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday for being too "flexible" with their deadlines, as the House of Representatives resumed its hearing on supply deals signed by Meralco with affiliated power generation companies. 

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said the ERC seemed to be constantly moving its deadlines to accommodate power generation companies. 

"You tend to change regulations and rules at the last hour," Barbers told ERC officials. 

"Deadlines are set, eh bakit naman tayo pumapayag na last minute sinu-submit? (Why did we agree to a last-minute submission?)"

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate earlier said all 7 power generation companies that Meralco signed a deal with failed to meet the filing deadline set by the commission. 

Zarate said based on time stamps of the documents submitted by the ERC, the applications were received after the 5 p.m. deadline lapsed last April 29.

ERC Commissioner Joefina Asirit said the commission had earlier approved to extend the deadline, and that the agency would accept applications as long as the people filing them were in the ERC office by 6:00 PM. 

Zarate had claimed consumers could lose P12.44 billion annually due to the supply deals.

During a hearing in September, the ERC reiterated that the Meralco deals were not yet approved.