The Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (Pippa) has joined calls for the Supreme Court to revisit its earlier order enjoining the implementation of the retail competition and open access (RCOA).
In a statement, Pippa insisted that the RCOA is mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (Epira), but implemented only in 2013.
It explained that RCOA is aimed at institutionalizing competition in the supply of electricity, and allow electricity end-users to choose their suppliers based on low price and other factors.
The recent TRO temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court has the effect of putting on hold aspects of the RCOA, specifically the timeline for lowering of thresholds,” the statement read.
Pippa is an association of 28 companies engaged in power generation. Collectively, Pippa’s members have 13,549.4 megawatts of grid-installed capacity, or 82.8 percent of the country’s total and serve millions of Filipinos in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
“PIPPA supports the implementation of RCOA and hopes the issues before the Supreme Court will be resolved with finality at the soonest possible time,” the power producers said.
“We support the move from the DOE Department of Energy and ERC Energy Regulatory Commission for a unified policy on RCOA. We hope that this will finally settle the issues and the industry will already move forward to attain the objectives of Epira,” the group added.
The DOE, ERC and the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) said they will form a new policy that will make it easier to shift to an open- market scheme.
The DOE also said it will be exhausting all remedies to see the implementation of RCOA, which is covered in DOE Circular DC-2015-06-0010, Series of 2015; ERC Resolution 5, Series of 2016; ERC Resolution 10, Series of 2016; ERC Resolution 11, Series of 2016; and ERC Resolution 28, Series of 2016.
RCOA allows electricity end-users with at least 1 megawatt of peak demand to choose their suppliers. End-users can choose between 23 retail electricity suppliers (RES) designated by the ERC.
It was supposed to take effect on February 26, but the Supreme Court stopped it by issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO).
The TRO was issued based on a petition filed by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Riverbanks Development Corp., Ateneo de Manila University and San Beda College, Alabang.