Competitive bidding for all power supply requirements of distribution utilities (DUs) should be mandatory instead of optional to get the best power rates for consumers, Liberal Party senatorial candidate and former energy secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said today (21 October 2015).
Petilla, the brains behind the landmark regulation called “Competitive Selection Process” or CSP, said the circular is already helping achieve the goal of bringing down cost of power in the country and ensure transparency in the procurement process.
He said at east two areas in Regions 1 and 3 where the practice of demand aggregation and competitive bidding were adopted yielded a per kilowatthour price of P3.12 and P3.20, respectively, as opposed to the recently negotiated Meralco rate of P4.20 per kwh.
“This is the best example why CSP should be mandatory. Anything that two companies negotiate on but people pay for can’t be kept secret. It has to be open,” he said.
Department Circular No. DC2015-06-0008 applies to power supply contracting of distribution utilities, including Meralco. It mandates that all CSPs undertaken by DUs must increase the transparency needed in the procurement process to reduce risks, promote and instill competition in the procurement and supply of electric power to all electricity end users.
Some sectors, however, are pushing for a voluntary enforcement of the CSP circular. Meralco president Oscar Reyes earlier said that distribution utilities must be allowed to do the CSP side by side with bilateral negotiations to help them determine which ones could really yield a better deal for electricity consumers. Meralco is owned by the Salim-Metro Pacific Group being managed by Manuel V. Pangilinan.