Press Release
April 15, 2009

Zubiri asks Senate to look into Napocor,
PSALM's violation of EPIRA

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri has filed a resolution directing the Senate committee on energy and other appropriate committees to look into the P3.7255 per kilowatt hour or P0.8376 per kWh increase in generation cost implemented by the National Power Corporation (Napocor) and the Power Sector Asset and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) in the Visayas grid last March.

Zubiri filed Senate Resolution No. 957 following the March 25 decision issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) thru ERC Case No. 2009-004 RC authorizing the Napocor and PSALM to collect additional generation rate for the Visayas grid.

"The ERC has previously approved a rate increase in February 26, which was approved and implemented even before the conclusion of the hearings on the application for rate increases in the Visayas grid," he said.

The Majority Leader said the ERC violated Section 43 of the Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, also known as the EPIRA Law, which states that "all notices of hearings to be conducted by the ERC for the purposes of fixing rates or fees shall be published at least twice for two successive week in two newspapers of nationwide circulation."

The proposed resolution also aimed to determine the dampening effect of power rate increase on the country's economic activities that further expose the nation to the financial and business downturn.

Zubiri also expressed that it is but necessary that the energy commission investigate whether the Napocor and PSALM incurred losses from the various customer incentives scheme implemented in the past such as the P.30 per kWh Mandated Rate Reduction and Prompt Payment Discount and whether the power commission and PSALM are entitled to recover their alleged losses through generation rate increase.

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