Kampi kay MVP! Consumers’ group blasts Cusi’s endorsement for Meralco’s Atimonan plant
A consumers’ group has slammed Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi for endorsing the 1,200-megawatt coal-fired power plant owned by subsidiary of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) in Atimonan, Quezon despite questions over its application for a power supply agreement (PSA).
The United Filipino Consumers and Commuters (UFCC) said Cusi’s endorsement might pave the way for the regulatory approval of the Atimonan One’s PSA application, which is among the seven contracts under litigation in various courts.
Atimonan One is 100 percent owned by Meralco thru its subsidiary, Meralco PowerGen.
Romeo Junia, an official of the UFCC, expressed alarm over Cusi’s endorsement given that the PSA between Atimonan One and the Manuel V. Pangilinan-owned power firm was sealed even without any public bidding or the competitive selection process (CSP).
He said Atimonan One stands to benefit from Executive Order 30 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017, which gives the “presumption of prior approval” for all applications. This means an applicant can skip applying for an environmental compliance certificate and head straight to PSAs.
“EO 30 seems to be tailored-fit for MERALCO’s PSAs, three (3) of which have been stalled for
lack of an ECC: Central Luzon Premiere Power, 528MW; Global Luzon Energy, 600MW; and,
Mariveles Power Gen, 528MW (49% owned by Meralco PowerGen),”Junia said.
The consumer rights advocate questioned why the Energy Regulatory Commission accepted Atimonan One’s document in which they claimed to have filed an ECC even though there was no supporting document. He has filed a motion to dismiss the energy company’s PSAs.
Junia is hopeful that the two new commissioners appointed by Duterte to the ERC will examine Atimonan One’s PSAs with Meralco so the controversy will be resolved fairly.