Bayan Muna seeks lifting of TRO on electricity open access scheme
Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares filed an intervening case on Tuesday at the Supreme Court (SC) to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA), which the party-list group claims to benefit monopolies at the electrical service industry.
“The sweeping TRO issued by the Court practically resulted in restraining the entire Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) orders on RCOA including the unassailed provisions that allows contestable consumers who wish to leave Meralco,” Colmenares said, after filing the five-page petition.
“This benefits Meralco and other monopolies who continue to hold captive their contestable customers,” Colmenares added.
According to the ERC, the RCOA would have provided commercial and industrial consumers the freedom to choose their own Retail Electricity Supplier or RES. In this scenario, customers can choose the “most advantageous supply offer” that would also result to lower electricity prices because of stiff competitions.
SC issued the TRO last February 21, 2017 which prevented DOE and ERC from implementing the RCOA. The high court has yet to provide a decision regarding the petition.
“The TRO also benefitted Meralco’s local RES who controls a major share of the contestable market. While other smaller and newer RES cannot get or renew their license, the local RES of other monopolies like Meralco do not even need to get a license giving them a great advantage to monopolize the contestable market,” Colmenares added. /je
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