The recent Supreme Court (SC) issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the enforcement of new regulations promulgated by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) “promotes monopoly in power distribution.”
Thus, claimed former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, who noted that the regulations are related to retail competition and open access.
“We are particularly alarmed that the SC TRO has the effect of preventing many power consumers from having a choice of where their electricity will come from, and at what price. Delaying or stopping open access works in favor of big distributors such as Meralco, who incidentally, also owns power generation companies,” Colmenares said.
Colmenares, who remains Bayan Muna chairman, called the SC’s move an attack on consumer rights and thus called for public action.
“We will also determine whether it will be compelling for us to intervene in this surprising legal development in order to safeguard the rights of power consumers,” added militant leader.
“We also urge the ERC to investigate reports that Meralco is pressuring its customers to rescind contracts with their suppliers in light of the TRO. We ask the ERC to investigate this reported actions of Meralco as this could further stifle any chance of competition especially since the SC has not yet decided on the merits of the case,” Colmenares said.