A partylist lawmaker has questioned the decision of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to approve the construction of a transmission line for a power plant project by a subsidiary of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate said the approval of the P1.7-billion transmission line project for the 1,200-megawatt project of Atimonan One Energy Inc. came even before the ERC has completed its review of the power supply agreement between Meralco and the power plant in question.
The lawmaker noted that the project has been questioned at the Office of the Ombudsman, Supreme Court, and the House of Representatives for alleged irregularities.
Aside from Atimonan One, Meralco has six other pending power supply agreement contracts, which Zarate said, when approved would oblige Meralco customers to pay at least P91 billion in generation charges every year.
The ongoing congressional inquiry, under House Resolution No. 566 filed by Bayan Muna in November 2016 aims to review and determine whether the power supply agreements for 3,551 MW are for the interest of the Filipino consumers.
Specifically, the investigation aims to determine if the agreements are disadvantageous to consumers; whether Meralco engaged in illegal or improper self-dealing; and, whether such actions were facilitated by the ERC in violation of its own rules and procedures.
“These are serious allegations involving not only billions but trillions of pesos to be taken from the already overburdened pockets of Meralco customers. These must be investigated and resolved before the supply agreements can be acted upon,” Zarate said.