THE Energy Department is urging the Energy Regulatory Commission to resolve their internal differences to avoid delays and inconveniences to the public and the power industry.
“The delays incurred by the ERC must be addressed immediately. We cannot have internal squabbles within the Commission go in the way of the interest of the public,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement a day after the meeting with ERC commissioners.
Cusi met with the four ERC Commissioners on Tuesday to address the concerns of the public and the electricity industry sector. The four are Geronimo Sta. Ana, Alfredo Non, Josefina Asirit and Gloria Taruc.
The commissioners submitted to Cusi a report which the department is currently studying.
Officials did not comment on the contents of the report although industry players have raised concern on the delays of approval of power supply agreements by the commission.
Cusi, in previous meetings with the commissioners, asked ERC chairman Jose Vicente Salazar to ensure that the ERC was working. “I don’t know how you’ll do it but you have to do it,” Cusi said.
“The DoE respects the ERC as a strong and independent institution. However, public interest comes first,” he said.
Cusi said he would push for more definite output from the commission in the succeeding meetings with the commissioners.
An industry source earlier said the commissioners also visited the Professional Regulation Commission on Tuesday but no complaint was filed against Salazar.
Salazar is now on leave from April 9 to April 25, 2017 and he will also be on leave from May 11 to 15, 2017.
Salazar delegated newly appointed Ronaldo Gomez, ERC executive director, as officer in charge while he was on leave.
Gomez, as OIC, could sign or act on behalf of Salazar, a move that was questioned by the commissioners.
Malacanang, however, designated Sta. Ana as OIC while Salazar went on leave to go to Italy, Greece and Hong Kong, thus raising confusion within the organization.
Flores, A. M. S. (April 20, 2017). ERC urged to resolve squabbles. Manila Standard. Retrieved from http://www.thestandard.com.ph/news/national/234566/erc-urged-to-resolve-squabbles.html