Gov’t urged: Give power users choice of supplier
A member of the House of Representatives on Monday asked the government to pursue the implementation of the retail competition and open access (RCOA) policy that gives bulk users of electricity a choice of power suppliers and which could lower rates.
“Let it be implemented first, and let us see if it will produce the desired effect to reduce power rates,” said Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe.
He said RCOA was a mechanism introduced by Republic Act No. 9136, more popularly known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) of 2001, to promote competition in the power industry and make available the lowest-priced electricity to big power consumers.
“There are provisions in the Epira that need to be reviewed and revised,” Batocabe said.
He said the review and revisions were needed to “make clear” several provisions of the Epira, which had been “vague and susceptible to different interpretations.”
“Anyway, there is the Joint Congressional Power Commission, which serves as an oversight to check whether or not it is implemented in accordance with its legislative intent,” the Bicolano lawmaker said.
He said RCOA allowed consumers, who used more than 750 kilowatts, to pick their own retail electricity supplier other than the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).
Monthly electric bills of some shopping malls, universities, factories and office buildings dropped by as much as 26 percent compared to their average power bill from Meralco when they availed themselves of this system.
However, a group led by San Beda College-Alabang, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Riverbanks Development Corp. and Ateneo de Manila University questioned the RCOA scheme at the Supreme Court.
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