ERC chief doubts 'midnight deals' with Meralco


Posted at Dec 26 2017 11:26 AM | Updated as of Dec 26 2017 12:00 PM

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MANILA - Energy Regulatory Commission chairperson Agnes Devanadera said Tuesday there could be have no "midnight deals" between the regulator and power distributor Meralco.

Devanadera said the 7 applications for supply agreements that were filed by Meralco were just part of the total 93. Congress is investigating allegations Meralco took advantage of the nearly 6-month delay in the implementation of competitive bidding rules.

"Kung 10 lang 'yung nag-file, at puro malalaki, baka nag-iba 'yung magiging pananaw natin. But with 93 of all sizes, it must have been a window that was responsive to the needs of stakeholders," Devanadera told ANC Tuesday.

(If only 10 applied, and they were all big companies, that would have changed our view on the issue. But with 93 from all sizes, it must have been a window that was responsive to the needs of stakeholders.)

The implementation of the competitive bidding policy was originally set for November 6, 2015 but was moved to April 30, 2016, allowing Meralco to enter into the agreements.

Devanadera said the ERC had the discretion to delay the adoption of the new rules given the request from stakeholders.

Allegations of "midnight deals" with Meralco led to the suspension of ERC's top officials, pending an investigation by the Ombudsman.

Devanadera earlier warned of blackouts as a result of the suspension due to hundreds of applications pending before the commission.