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ERC to CASURECO 2: ‘Explain expired contracts’

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) issued a show cause order to Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative Inc. to explain the implementation of their expired contract for the supply of electric energy with Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd. (MPPCL) since May 25, 2015.

The said order released on April 17 came after the request of the city government to lower the power rate of the cooperative early this year.

In his public post on May 1, Mayor Nelson Legacion said that a possible electric cost of around P11 per kilowatt-hour may take effect since the ERC demanded to implement refund process from its excess since its operation on May 26, 2015.

The CASURECO II also supplies power to the towns of Pili, Minalabac, Canaman, Milaor, Magarao, Bombon, Calabanga, Tinambac and Siruma.

ERC orders show cause

The CASURECO II has originally contracted power from its supplier, MPPCL from October 7, 2010 until May 26, 2015.

On November 15, 2010, the commission issued an order granting the extension of the provisional authority for the implementation of the said contract until revoked or made permanent.

However, on June 11, 2015, the Department of Energy issued DOE Department Circular No. DC2015-02-06-008 “mandating all distribution utilities to undergo Competitive Selection Process in Securing Power Supply Agreements (PSA). This became effective and affirmed by the Supreme Court on June 30, of the same year.

The department policy then required all distribution utilities to procure PSAs only through competitive selection process. As such, extensions of PSA beyond June 30, 2015 are no longer accepted.

In January 2023, Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion sits down with the Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO) General Manager Emelita Candia to discuss various interventions on the alarming high power rate of the cooperative. Photo by CASURECO II

It goes to show that the original CSEE between CASURECO II and MPPCL, and the extension of its provisional authority in November 2011 has already expired on May 25, 2015.

The order further stated: “It must be stressed that the provisional authority granted by the Commission was only granted on the basis of the original terms, conditions and period of the original CSEE application filed by the applicants. Any implementation of the CSEE beyond the original term without the approval of the Commission is considered ineligible supply.”

Accordingly, the electric cooperative shall comply with the following: detailed discussion on how it collected its retail rates and the power supply costs, after the said expired contract, and immediately refund all generation rate collected in excess of the rate based on the National Power Commission from May 26, 2015 prior to the receipt of the present order.

The CASURECO II was given 15 days to submit its verified explanation.

CASURECO II Spokesperson Rinner Bucay said that their legal board and management unit has been finalizing its responses to the Commission.

In an interview with PIA Camarines Sur, Bucay expressed his utmost gratefulness to the consumers for their continuous support.

“Our objective here is to provide balance so that the operation of the cooperative will not falter, nor worse, will it get bankrupt. I would also like to thank our consumers for continuously paying thier respective bills despite the situation we are in,” he said.

Mayor Legacion said in a press conference on Thursday, may 4 that it will continue to sit as mediator between the consumers and the cooperative. He also said that the LGU will provide an avenue for positive and proactive actions in this matter to help, and not pull down CASURECO II.

On May 10, the mayor, being the chair of the Metro Naga Development Council, will call for a meeting together with various stakeholders to discuss the possible effects of the order. (PIA5/Camarines Sur)


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