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Meralco’s deals with suppliers hit

VARIOUS progressive and civil society groups said on Tuesday it will file a petition for intervention with the Energy Regulatory Commission to question the 2015 postponement of a competitive selection process for power supplies and the application of the Manila Electric Co. to partner with seven power suppliers.

At a news conference in Quezon City, Butch Junia of the Power for People (P4P) said they will ask the ERC to allow them to “be a party” and step into the matter in an effort to block the giant power company from allowing 3,551 megawatts of negotiated power supply agreements with a period of 20 years without a bidding.

“We will file today a petition to intervene,” he told reporters.

Aaron Pedrosa, Sanlakas lawyer-secretary general, and Ian Rivera, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice national coordinator, will join P4P in today's filing with the ERC.

“Next is the filing of graft raps against energy officials tomorrow to hold them accountable for misuse of funds,” Pedrosa told the Manila Standard.

He, however, declined to elaborate, saying “we do not want to preempt the move.”

On June 30, the PMCJ will also file with the Supreme Court against environment officials, Rivera said.

On April 29, 2016, Meralco filed applications for approval of power supply agreements with seven coal-filed power plants to supply 3,551 megawats or 31 billion kilowatt per hour at full capacity.

The contracts would run for a minimum term of 20 years from the time of commissioning.

“The process by which Meralco has filed its applications is tainted with many irregularities,” Junia said.

He said the contracts’ approval could pose health hazards to the people and environmental risks, and trigger the cost of power to go up.

According to the ERC, effective Nov. 7, 2015, all power requirements of all distribution utilities must be procured through competitive bidding, and that only two failed bids could be allowed.

But on March 15, 2016, the ERC issued Resolution No. 1 of 2016 that Meralco contracts need not go through the competitive selection process.

Junia said Meralco would lock in consumers to rely on coal-powered plants.

“The agreements, if approved, would set to harm the environment toward coal reliance for the next 20 to 40 year” Rivera said. 

Topics: Energy Regulatory Commission , Manila Electric Co. , Power suppliers
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