Viewpoint: Devanadera’s Letter is Misleading the President in Effort to save guilty ERC Commissioners. They must do the Honorable and Step Down peacefully so reforms can start at ERC.

Evelyn Viray-Jallorina, ABP Convenor

12 January 2018

President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang, Manila 1005

             Thru:  Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea

Subject:  Administrative Penalty Imposed on the Five ERC Commissioners and the Letter of Newly Appointed ERC Chair Agnes VST Devanadera Dated 22 December 2017

Dear Sir:


The Alyansa Para SaBagongPilipinas (ABP) was formed a year ago, inspired by your call for changes towards a better Philippines.  ABP is the complainant at the Office of the Ombudsman on the anomalous extension of the CSP bidding policy to accommodate Meralco.

New ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera had apparently written a panic letter to the Office of the President warning of the serious consequences for the country and consumers if the four (4) Commissioners found guilty and suspended for one year for  “grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and gross neglect of duty” are not spared from the suspension.

Clearly, new Chair Devanadera is asking the President to ignore the violations of the law and misconduct. It is regrettable that after expressing her “sincere gratitude” to the President “for entrusting her to be the Chairperson of the ERC”, Devanadera would proceed to participate in misleading the President on the true situation at the ERC in a naked attempt to save and condone the guilty commissioners.

Kindly allow us to comment on Chair Devanadera’s claims in her 22 December 2017 letter.

  1. Devanadera’s letter was prepared and sent to the Office of the President on the 22nd of December, only the day after the Four Commissioners received the Ombudsman decision on the 21st. Obviously the contents of the letter and the justifications were just fed to her by the four commissioners.  She did not even study the case for a few days.
  2. Devanadera wrote the letter in Panic since as she admitted she is not prepared for the job.
  3. Devanadera clearly is trying to scare the President into exonerating the four guilty commissioners instead of quickly looking for replacements so that true reforms can start at the moribund regulatory agency.
  4. Devanadera wants to retain the corrupt system and organization instead of leading a reform for the better.
  5. Devanadera gave the President a lengthy list of 14 electric distribution utilities and projects nationwide that will not be acted upon “due to lack of quorum” to mislead the President.
  6. The delays in the ERC actions on those projects have been a chronic inefficiency at the regulatory agency and if a quorum is provided within 30 days, there is little effect on the claimed applications.
  7. It is glaring that of the list of fourteen (14) decisions and applications listed by Devanadera to the President, she conveniently omitted the Meralco applications for 3,551mw of negotiated power supply contracts which is actually 80% of the power generation applications filed during the questionable period of January to April 2016. It is regrettable that a newly appointed Chairman of the ERC will give a list that is deceptive and not honest to the President that appointed her.

We hope the Office of the President will not allow itself to be manipulated and mislead.  There are ways to quickly bring about a quorum at the regulatory agency instead of the backward solution being pushed by new Chair Devanadera.   The naked attempt at deception is regrettable.

The Ombudsman decision is clear on the violations of the law and a giant step forward to reforming this ERC that has been a captive of the oligarchs at grave injustice to our electric consumers.

We also call on the four ERC Commissioners to do the honorable and peacefully step down and allow the badly needed reforms at the ERC to start.

Very truly yours,

Alyansa Para saBagongPilipinas

Evelyn Viray-Jallorina
Executive Director

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