RSA mulls legal options after denial of San Miguel- Meralco rate hike petition; vows to ensure uninterrupted power supply

SMC Global Power Holdings, led by its president Ramon S. Ang, is considering its legal options after the Department of Energy thumbed down its joint rate increase petition with the Manila Electric Co. (Meraco).

ERC denied the joint petition filed by SMC Global subsidiary South Premiere Power Corp. and Meralco for a temporary relief measure to maintain power rates in Metro Manila low compared to other parts of the country, amid skyrocketing global fuel prices.

“We will continue to explore other legal remedies to allow us to sustainably provide for the increasing power needs of our country while meeting our obligations to our various stakeholders,” SMC Global Power said in a statement.

“We regret the [ERC’s] denial of our joint petition with Meralco… on our 2019 power supply agreements (PSAs), not so much for our own interest but more for the consumers,” San Miguel Corp.’s energy arm said.

SMC Global Power pointed out that Meralco’s own computation, which was validated by the ERC’s Regulatory Operations Office, showed that the interest of the consumers would have been best served with the approval of the petition.

“The ERC, armed with such data, knows too well that denying the petition will not only cripple us, but more importantly, burden consumers who will have to face higher electricity bills,” SMC Global Power noted.

The power regulator, on the other hand, argued that its decision was in line with its mandate to “guard against market abuse and to ensure transparent and reasonable prices of electricity in a regime of free and fair competition and full public accountability.”

Nevertheless, SMC Global Power assured uninterrupted power supply to Meralco.

“Despite the present challenges, we will never withhold our available power capacity to the detriment of the country and the consumers,” SMC Global Power said.

The group said it remains focused on maximizing its existing power assets to help sustain the economy’s recovery, while investing in technologies that will facilitate transition to cleaner energy.

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MVP-led Meralco will abide by ERC ruling but wont terminate power supply deals with San Miguel