The Philippine Distribution Code establishes the basic rules and procedures that govern the operation, maintenance, development, connection, and use of the electric distribution systems in the Philippines. Compliance with the provisions of this Distribution Code is mandatory for all participants in distribution system operations. These include the Distributors and the Users of the distribution system including embedded generators, other distributors connected to the distribution system, and large customers.
The restructuring of the electric power industry in the Philippines as envisioned in Republic Act No. 9136, also known as the “Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001,” will result in significant changes in distribution system operations and management. The Act allows end-use consumers belonging to the contestable market to obtain power from independent suppliers who are licensed by the ERC. Electricity consumers will have the option to purchase electric energy from a variety of resources other than those selected by their local distributor.
Distributors must provide wheeling services to such customers. Distributors must also procure energy supplies to serve the remainder of their customers from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market or through bilateral contracts.
The Act mandated the creation of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). Section 43(b) of the Act provides that the ERC promulgate and enforce a National Grid Code and a Distribution Code which shall include, but not be limited to: (a) Performance Standards for TRANSCO O & M Concessionaire, distribution utilities and suppliers, and (b) Financial Capability Standards for the generating companies, the TRANSCO, distribution utilities and suppliers. The Act also mandates the ERC to enforce compliance to the Grid Code, the Distribution Code, and the Market Rules, and to impose fines and penalties for violations of their provisions.
The Distribution Code defines the technical aspects of the working relationship between the distributors and all the users of the distribution system. Electric distributors must deliver electric energy to the electricity users at acceptable levels of service quality. On the other hand, the users of the distribution systems must comply with certain rules and standards to avoid adverse effect on the distribution system. The reliability of the distribution system depends on the performance of the various components of the distribution network. Thus, major components such as power substations, primary lines, distribution transformers, secondary lines and service lines, must perform satisfactorily.
The policies, decisions and actions of the Distributor on matters involving the operation, maintenance and development of the distribution system will affect industry participants and the users of the distribution system. It is important, therefore, that all affected parties have a voice in making policies and decisions involving the operation, maintenance and development of the distribution system. The Distribution Code provides this mechanism through the Distribution Management Committee that will relieve the ERC from the tedious task of monitoring day-to-day operations of the distribution system.
Combined with the Philippine Grid Code, the Distribution Code will ensure that the total electric energy supply system of the Philippines operates efficiently to provide reliable and economic service to all distribution customers.The Distribution Code is organized into eight (8) Chapters. These are:
Chapter 1. Distribution Code General Conditions
Chapter 2. Distribution Management
Chapter 3. Distribution Connection Requirements
Chapter 4. Distribution Planning
Chapter 5. Distribution Operations
Chapter 6. Distribution Revenue Metering Requirements
Chapter 7. Distribution Code Transitory Provisions
Chapter 8. Performance Standards for Distributors & Suppliers
Chapter 1 of the PDC contains the general provisions that apply to all the other Chapters of the Distribution Code. It specifies the authority of ERC to promulgate and enforce the Distribution Code. It also contains articles on construction of references, definition of terms, and abbreviations used in the Distribution Code.
Chapter 2 of the PDC provides the guidelines for Distribution Management, the procedures for dispute resolution, the required Management Reports and the procedures for Distribution Code revision and enforcement.
Chapter 3 of the PDC specifies the minimum technical, design and operational criteria and the procedures to be complied with by any User who is connected or seeking connection to a Distribution System. User data submission requirements are also included in this Chapter.
Chapter 4 of the PDC specifies the technical and design criteria and procedures to be applied in planning the development or reinforcement of a Distribution System. Articles on demand forecasts, planning data, and required technical studies are likewise included in this Chapter.
Chapter 5 of the PDC establishes the rules and procedures to be followed by all Users of the Distribution System to ensure that reliable distribution services are achieved for all distribution customers. Articles on Operational procedures and arrangements, Operational Liaison, Operational Reports, Demand Control, Emergency Operations, Safety Coordination, Testing and Monitoring, System Test, Maintenance Procedures, and Equipment Numbering and Nomenclature are likewise included in this Chapter.
Chapter 6 of the PDC specifies the technical and design criteria associated with the measurement of electric energy as well as the procedures for providing metering data for billing and payment.
Chapter 7 of the PDC specifies the rules and procedures pertaining to compliance with the provisions of the Distribution Code during the transition period from the existing industry structure to the new industry structure. The procedures for the grant of exemption from specific requirements of the Distribution Code are also addressed in this Chapter.
Chapter 8 of the PDC specifies the standards to ensure the quality, reliability and efficiency of the Distribution System, as well as customer service standards for the protection of end-users in both captive and contestable markets. This Chapter also addresses safety standards for the protection of personnel in the power distribution environment.
Chapter 9 of the PGC specifies the standards to ensure the quality, reliability and efficiency of the Transmission System, as well as safety standards for the protection of personnel in the power transmission environment.