March 14, 2011
Bing Arnold O. Devera
BUSINESSMEN have asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to fast track the implementation of open access and retail competition.
In a position paper, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., and
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), urged the ERC "to complete the administrative requirements needed for the effective implementation of open access and retail competition," given that the "legal conditions [were] already complied with."
The business groups are asking ERC to start coming out with rules, terms and conditions to meet minimum requirements for open access and retail competition to be implemented. "Open access and retail competition is long overdue. Completion of the administrative requirements together with identifying the responsible organizations or office for implementation and setting up clear milestones for the information of all stakeholders will assure the business community that this will soon be declared," Francis Chua, PCCI president, said.
"By assuring buyers of their electricity retail competition makes the market more attractive for investments in power generation projects.
On the other hand, providing end users the freedom to choose their electridty supplier allows them to get the most reasonable cost and the most efficient service," said Jose Alejandro, PCCI chairman for energy.
Chua said interim open access in Luzon "on an optional and voluntary basis should proceed until the actual open access starts."
"The pursuance of interim open access will not only gauge how competitive forces will play under the deregulated power market, more importantly, it will enable the ERC and stakeholders in the electric power industry to identify and address, if any, other issues not initially conceived," he said.
Source: Manila Times, Business, 12 March 2011