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Monday, January 27, 2014

House Agrees to Give ERC Probers More Time

"Haste Makes Waste". Recognizing that the issues of collusion and market abuse by power producers are very serious, administration and opposition lawmakers agreed yesterday that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) should be given ample time to compete it's investigation. Speaker Belmonte said ERC's investigating unit headed by Tomas II should not be harried or pressured to ensure that they would reach comprehensive and straightforward findings. "That's a very touchy area and better that they finish and submit their report and not be harried or pressured" he said in an interview after ERC Chairman Ducut asked for another 2 months to hand down it's final report on the "very complex" and "data intensive" task. During the House Committee on Energy hearing last week, lawmakers chided the ERC for providing them a flimsy "report". According to the investigating unit's initial findings, the supply situation during the period Oct. 26, 2013 to Dec. 25, 2013 "is a factor which contributed to the historical big bids being accepted as clearing prices on several trading intervals." "In turn, factors that affected the supply situation were plant outages and non-offer by plants." it's said. Isabela Rep. Albano III whose father once served as ERC Chief, counted on the ERC to finish it's final report "at the soonest possible time". "They can subpoena all the records and conduct hearings everyday if they want to. But then let us give them the benefit of the doubt if they say that they will finish it in 2 months." he said. Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Tugna and 1-BAP party list Rep. Bello III, a member of the House Minority bloc, also consented to Ducut's appeal for understanding. "For me, 2 months is just right, considering how technical the matter is. Provided, there is Congressional Oversight Committee that has an eye and an ear during the entire process of review. This will prevent tampering of evidence." said Tugna in a separate interview.            
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