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Kailangang may bantay! House starts talks on abolishing ERC

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The House Committees on Government Reorganization and Energy have started the ball rolling on the proposal to abolish the Energy Regulatory Board.

The panels on Wednesday (January 31) discussed House Bill 5020, which seeks to replace ERC with the Board of Energy as an attached unit of the Department of Energy (DOE).

ERC chairperson Agnes Devanadera concurred with lawmakers that there should be a system of accountability for the regulatory body to ensure the protection of the government and public’s interests.

Under HB 5020, the Board of Energy will be a quasi-judicial regulatory body under the control and supervision of the Department of Energy.

It will be composed of a Chairperson and two members to be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Energy.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who filed the bill, said placing the Board of Energy under DOE will ensure it is also within the direct control and supervision of the President.

The ERC was created under Republic Act No. 9316, otherwise known as the “Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001,” whose primary mandate is to regulate the country’s electric industry, promote competition in the electricity market, and protect power consumers from the high costs of electricity.