The Department of Energy (DOE) wants the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC)'s powers in the energy sector, particularly in relation to that of the Energy Regulatory Commission, clarified under the proposed amendments to Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 or EPIRA.
'It is always a continuing effort to amend the EPIRA so that we can adjust certain parts that may require some tweaking,' Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.
'So whether it is within the Energy Regulatory Commission's powers, the Philippine Competition Commission's powers relative to the power sector and in relation to the ERC, the penalties that can be imposed by ERC, these are just some of the things that we need to clarify,' the energy chief said.
The ERC under EPIRA is tasked to promote competition, encourage market development, ensure customer choice and penalize abuse of market power in the electricity industry.
Meanwhile, the PCC, as a regulatory body, is mandated to implement the national competition policy and enforce the Philippine Competition Act, which serves as the country's primary competition law for promoting and protecting competitive markets.
In 2019, a memorandum of agreement was signed between the ERC and the PCC to delineate their respective roles in the investigation and review of unfair business conduct, abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive transactions involving the electric power industry.
Under the cooperation agreement, the ERC and PCC specified mechanisms to enable both parties to collaborate in order to fulfill their respective mandates through sharing of information and the conduct of joint fact-finding inquiries pertinent to competition matters within the electric power industry.
The amendments to the EPIRA are among those being pushed by the Marcos administration.
'But even without those amendments, within the framework of the existing EPIRA, we will proceed,' Lotilla said.
Meanwhile, Energy Assistant Secretary Mylene Capongcol said the agency is targeting to release by September the country's updated energy roadmap.
Capongcol said a draft of the new Philippine Energy Plan has been completed and is undergoing review.
The Philippine Energy Plan, which currently covers the years 2020 to 2040, is expected to be expanded up to 2050.
Under the Philippine Energy Plan 2020 to 2040, the DOE has set a target to increase the renewable energy share in the power generation mix to 35 and 50 percent by 2030 and 2040, respectively.
Capongcol said the renewable energy target of 35 percent by 2030 would likely be maintained.
'So far, we are sticking to it, and then for nuclear, there's ongoing coordination, meetings, study and capacity building,' she said.
Nuclear energy is among the technologies being explored by the Philippines, but it is still considered as a long-term option for power generation.