Saturday, February 25, 2017
Supreme Court-Issued TRO on DOE and ERC Issuances Pertaining to Retail Competition and Open Access Implementation
The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), as respondents, respect the ruling of the Supreme Court and will abide by its temporary restraining order (TRO) on the DOE Circular No. DC2015-06-0010, Series of 2015 and ERC Resolution Nos. 5, 10, 11 and 28, Series of 2016, without prejudice, however, to exhaustion of available legal remedies in order to put forward the factual and legal bases on which the promulgation of the assailed rules have been based.
Due to the legal complexities surrounding the TRO, the DOE, ERC and the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC), are still in the process of drafting a general advisory for the guidance of the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) Stakeholders, without prejudice to future issuances. The main issues being considered are whether:
1. Those who have already executed Retail Supply Contracts (RSCs) and were already registered and switched shall continue to honor their respective RSCs;
2. Ongoing applications for registration filed before the Central Registration Body (CRB) may proceed voluntarily;
3. Applicants who wish to withdraw or defer their registration before the CRB may do so consistent with the Retail Market Rules provided that the CRB shall not be liable for any legal repercussions that may arise out of the contestable customers’ contractual obligations; and
4. Remaining contestable customers who have not yet secured their RSCs may continue to negotiate and exercise their power to choose.
The DOE, in coordination with the ERC and PEMC, as the CRB, will continue to conduct information drive and to educate the contestable customers on the benefits of RCOA in order to respond to queries affecting the industry players.
The DOE assures the public that extensive consultations and coordination efforts will continue towards full implementation of the provisions of the law favoring the consumers' power of choice.