Republic of the Philippines

ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

A world class and independent electric power industry regulator that equitably promotes and protects the interests of consumers and other stakeholders, to enable the delivery of long-term benefits that contribute to sustained economic growth and an improved quality of life.


ERC ASSERTS JURISDICTION OVER COMPETITION CASES IN ENERGY

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) asserted its jurisdiction over competition related matters under the Republic Act No. 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) OF 2001. This was presented in a recent ruling of the ERC on a motion filed by the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) seeking to dismiss a case where the latter claimed that the jurisdiction of the ERC had been repealed by Republic Act No. 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act (PCA), and consequently conferred the exclusive jurisdiction to the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC). 

In its Order  dated 02 February 2017 (in ERC Case No. 2015-025 MC), the ERC clarified that both the PCC and the ERC exercise concurrent jurisdiction over anti-competitive cases in the energy sector. ERC stated that the enactment of the PCA, similarly granted the PCC jurisdiction over anti-competitive cases in all industries, which include the energy sector, at which point the jurisdiction granted to the ERC ceased to be exclusive.  As such, both the PCC and the ERC may now exercise jurisdiction over anti-competitive cases in the energy sector in a concurrent capacity.     

The ERC further explained that it had already acquired jurisdiction over the case prior to the enactment of the PCA.   Consequently, where concurrent jurisdiction exists in several tribunals, the body that first takes cognizance of the complaint shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of others2.  In other words, the agency where the complaint was first filed is that which first acquired jurisdiction over the case, and, therefore has the authority to proceed and decide the case to the exclusion of other agencies granted with the same jurisdiction.

 “We maintain that despite the broad authority given by the Competition Law to the Philippine Competition Commission over anti-competition cases in all industries, it did not affect nor diminish the jurisdiction already acquired by the ERC,” ERC Chairman and CEO Jose Vicente Salazar said.

 


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