Meralco asks court to junk TRO plea on power supply deal with another SMC unit

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has formally asked the Court of Appeals to deny the temporary restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) sought by San Miguel Energy Corp. (SMEC) in relation to their 2019 power supply agreement (PSA).

SMEC currently supplies 330 MW of Meralco’s baseload power requirement under a 2019 PSA.

In its motion dated December 21, Meralco said the issuance of an injunction would lead to the termination of its PSA with SMEC, disrupt the supply of electricity, and expose its customers to potentially higher power rates.

“With due respect, the possible grant of the TRO or writ of preliminary injunction will lead to Petitioner SMEC’s cessation in supplying electricity to Meralco, which it is obligated to do pursuant to the terms and conditions of the PSA,” Meralco said.

Meralco said the court should deny SMEC’s application and “direct the parties to continuously implement the PSA that would serve and protect the public from the unnecessary burden of increased electricity costs.”

It cited Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), which expressly states that the supply sector, where SMEC belongs, is a business affected by public interest.

Meralco said allowing the property rights of a generation company to take precedence over public welfare “would be travesty of the policies enshrined under EPIRA and a disservice to the public.”

This recent move of Meralco followed its December 19 motion to lift the TRO already issued by the CA in favor of South Premiere Power Corp. (SPPC), a unit of San Miguel Global Power Corp.

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