Supreme Court issues TRO against contestable-customer power scheme

THE Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday issued a halt order on several issuances of the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on the government’s retail competition and open access (RCOA) policies.

Acting on a petition filed by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), San Beda College Alabang, Inc., Ateneo de Manila University, and Riverbanks Development Corp., the high court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the following issuances of the DoE and ERC:

a. DoE Circular No. DC2015-06-0010 (Providing Policies to Facilitate the Full Implementation of Retail Competition and Open Access in the Philippine Electric Power Industry);

b. ERC Resolution No. 05 (Series of 2016) (A Resolution Adopting the 2016 Rules Governing the Issuances of the Licenses to Retail Electricity Suppliers (RES) and Prescribing the Requirements and Conditions Therefore);

c. ERC Resolution No. 10 (Series of 2016) (Adopting the Revised Rules for Contestability);

d. ERC Resolution No. 11 (Series of 2016) (Imposing Restrictions on the Operations of Distribution Utilities and Retail Electricity Suppliers in the Competitive Retail Electricity Market); and

e. ERC Resolution No. 28 (Series of 2016) (Revised Timeframe for Mandatory Contestability, Amending Resolution No. 10)

Supreme Court Public Information Office (PIO) Chief Theodore O. Te, in a media briefing following the high court’s en banc session, said: “The Court noted that petitioners have established a clear, legal right to the TRO considering that the EPIRA Law provides for the voluntary migration of end-users to the contestable market and there appears to be no basis for the mandatory migration being ordered by the DoE and the ERC through the questioned issuances.”

Read more here.

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