Palace: Abusive power firms may face sanctions
MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Wednesday said sanctions could be imposed on power firms that would be proven to have engaged in illegal activities that led to the increase in power rates.
The Palace also said that consumers may get a refund if the power rate adjustments are found to be arbitrary.
“Nakasaad po ‘yan sa EPIRA ( Electric Power Industry Reform Act) at noon pong nakaraan, kapag nagkaroon ng labis na pag-singil, ang naging kongkretong resolusyon po diyan ay yung pagkakaroon ng refund,” Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said.
For now, the power rate adjustments would proceed, at least in three tranches.
Coloma said government is studying “other options” to ease the impact of the rate hike on consumers, “including tighter monitoring of the schedule of shutdowns of power generators.”
“In this regard, the DoE (Department of Energy) has instructed the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) to look into the outages in several power plants that occurred while the Malampaya repairs were taking place,” Coloma 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.”