Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission working together to ease impact of impending power rate hike, Palace says
MANILA (Mabuhay) — The Department of Energy (DoE) is working with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to ease the people’s burden on the imposition of power rate adjustments brought about by the Malampaya shutdown, a Palace said on Wednesday.
“The government’s foremost concern is to ease the people’s burden on the imposition of power rate adjustments brought about by the Malampaya shutdown,” Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said in a statement at the regular press briefing in Malacanang.
The ERC adopted the approach of the DOE for a staggered implementation of the adjustment in three tranches so consumers won’t bear the brunt on the increase, he said.
Coloma said the government is also considering other options to ease the consumers’ burden including tighter monitoring of the schedule of shutdowns of power generators.
“In this regard, the DoE has instructed the ERC to look into the outages in several power plants that occurred while the Malampaya repairs were taking place,” the Communications Secretary said.
Under the EPIRA law, both DoE and ERC are mandated to ascertain that power rate adjustments are not driven by anti-competitive or market abuse practices.
The maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya deep water-to-gas facility in November and December will likely hike power rates, according to officials. The Malampaya facility shutdown happens once every two years.
The maintenance schedule of the Malampaya facility, which harnesses inexpensive and indigenous energy source off Palawan, was moved to November 9 up to December 8, around the same time other power generating plants do their regular maintenance work.
The adjustment in electricity rates will be reflected in the December billing, officials said. (MNS)